The spectacle’s story comes from the relationship between Tiago Rodrigues and his grandmother Cândida, a cook and diligent reader, who used to memorize excerpts from books, many given by his grandson on his visits. By Heart deals with the bond between literature and memory, especially the affective aspect of this relationship. It is a theatre that embraces itself as a space for sharing knowledge that cannot be measured, that is not tangible – such as the hiding spot that we create, in our brains and hearts, for prohibited texts during authoritarian regimes, memorizing the works and securing their survival. over time. During the solo, the actor and director works on verses memorization while he talks about his almost blind grandma, about literary characters, writers and critics (like William Shakespeare, Boris Pasnernak, Ray Bradbury and George Steiner), also of a Dutch TV show called Beauty and Consolation.
Actor, director and playwright, Tiago Rodrigues approaches the theatre as an assembly: a place to meet and share ideas. He became famous for making shows transiting between reality and fantasy, filled with great poetic and thought sophistication. Still as a student, in 1997, he worked with the tg STAN group and, in 2003, he co-founded the Mundo Perfeito group with Magda Bizarro, in which he created and presented about 30 shows in more than 20 countries. He was also a theatre teacher at institutions such as the Belgian dance school PARTS, directed by choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, the Swiss school of performing arts Manufacture and the international project École des Maîtres. Parallel to his work in theatre, he wrote screenplays for films and TV series, articles, poetry and essays. Some of his most prominent works are By Heart, Antônio and Cleopatra, Bovary, Como Ela Morre and Blow, which debuted at Festival d’Avignon 2017. In 2018, he won the XV Europa Realidades Teatrais Award. In the same year, he received the title Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government, and recently received the 2019 Pessoa Award. Since 2015, Rodrigues has been the artistic director of the National Theatre D. Maria II, one of the main theatres in Europe.
This is about heart. About storytelling. About memory. And about books. It is theatre boiled down to a powerful essence. It is one of the most gently, simply, complex pieces of work you will ever see. And all of it delivered with warmth, exuberance and much humour. By Heart is exquisite.
TRACEY KORSTEN, Glam Adelaide
From Shakespeare to Ray Bradbury, this refreshing take on modern day theatre is an ode to the power of memory. And to the notion that even if freedom, books and your body are stripped away, nothing and nobody can take from you the words stowed within your heart.
EDWINA SLEIGH, revista Fest
Rodrigues is a great director, but what makes him greater than life is the way he masterfully writes about everything and creates characters with whom we sympathize and even fall in love with.
CÁTIA FAÍSCO, The Theatre Times
TEXT, ENACTING AND PERFORMANCE: Tiago Rodrigues
WITH FRAGMENTS AND QUOTES FROM: William Shakespeare, Ray Bradbury, George Steiner and Joseph Brodsky, among others
SET, PROPS AND COSTUMES: Magda Bizarro
EXECUTIVE PRODUCTION: Rita Forjaz
EXECUTIVE PRODUCTION IN ORIGINAL CONCEPT: Magda Bizarro and Rita Mendes
PRODUCTION: National Theatre D. Maria II, from an original concept by Mundo Perfeito
CO-PRODUCTION: O Espaço do Tempo, Maria Matos and Municipal Theatre
The show’s concept was supported by the Government of Portugal | DGArtes