Seen at Teatro Municipal Amélia Rey Colaço on the 10th of November 2022
4 stars – explosive meteors
A reassembled family, a ‘home’ that has been put together on the wrong premises. Four children and teenagers, one adult caretaker. In this smothering space, characters are meteors crashing into each other and then trying to avoid destruction, in the varied constellations that prejudices, accusations, recriminations, and pressures can give birth to. The audience is openly addressed, and attacked, with spoken and unspoken questions: it is called to take a position.
Children and adolescents are in this ‘home’ for many different reasons. However, all these different reasons can be synthesised as one: these people are seen as problems by a society that casts this label upon them, our society that establishes norms and standards, refusing everyone whom it doesn’t judge worthy to fit in those norms and standards.
This original play – produced by Companhia de Actores, concept and direction by Cláudia Semedo, playwright by Gisela Casimiro – can hardly be described without superlatives. The text is flawless, the direction accurate and incisive. The performance (Ana Madureira, Catarina Marques Lima, Natacha Campos, Pedro Peças, and Vânia Luz) is explosive. Despite some minor imperfections, it goes straight to the heart, but in a clever way: it doesn’t want spectators to surrender to emotion, but to think, be critical, and react.
With such intelligence does Casa com árvores dentro deal with the topics of racism, autism, fat phobia and fat shaming, trauma, mental health, and the belonging to the LGBTQIAP+ community. The story is that of a place that is meant to be ‘better’, but that can be as tight for the characters as a double bed, or a dining table. The stories are those of the characters and of a hard cohabitation, which works as a prismatic glass that refracts all the reasons while this cohabitation is hard, and why it has been established in the first place.
Until the 27th of November, Thursday to Saturday, 9pm
Running time: 60 minutes
Venue: Teatro Municipal Amélia Rey Colaço, Algés.