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Commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of the Complete Works Festival in 2006, the award winning community theatre company Nós do Morro (We from the Favela/Hillside) displays a fresh and energetic performance of Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Switching effortlessly from the comic to the serious, the plotline is infused by vibrating music and movement. The actors’ bodies become central to a physical theatre which dispenses with elaborate props or sets: actors resourcefully stand in for scenery, playing furniture, buildings and walls. Even Lauce’s dog, Crab, receives a scene-stealer performance. Cloth is used for various ends: to mark out space, as costume and as letters. For instance, the love letter Julia receives from Proteus is made of cloth patches, loosely stitched together. Samba and *capoeira, supported by a trio of onstage musicians, are rhythmically punctuated by the Afro Brazilian instrument *berimbau and help to culturally locate the play in Brazil as well as set the tone and pace for Shakespeare’s tale of friendship, love and betrayal.
Dois Cavalheiros de Verona (The Two Gentlemen of Verona) by Nós do Morro was performed in Stratford upon Avon at the Courtyard Theatre at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Complete Works Festival, and at The Barbican Center in London in 2008. The production has also been shown in several cities in Brazil.
*Berimbau is a stringed instrument built from a gourd. It has its roots in Southern African culture but has been incorporated into the Brazilian art of capoeira
*Capoeira is a Brazilian Martial art that combines elements of dance and music.
- Nós do Morro homepage (Portuguese)
- Description of this production at the Barbican (English)
- Article written by Cristiane Busato Smith, “Nós do Morro: Voice, Art, and Empowerment”
- Reviews of this production (English) by:
- Details about the 2006 performance at the Barbican Theatre
- Click here to read a digitalized book about Nós do Morro (Portuguese): Meu Destino era o Nós do Morro by Luciana, Bezerra. (Bezerra, Luciana. Meu Destino era o Nós do Morro. Rio de Janeiro: Aeroplano, 2010)
- Click here to watch a YouTube video on Nós do Morro (Portuguese w/ English subtitles).
Director: Guti Fraga
Director (Gallery 37): Deborah Shaw
Composer/Collaborator: Sianed Jones
Lighting Designer: José Frederico Canto Pinheiro
Movement Director: Johayne Hildefonso
Costume Designer: Kika de Medina
Prologues written by: Luis Correa Castro
Scenic Elements: Fernando Mello da Costa
Songs and music for Nós do Morro: Gabriela Geluda
Songs and music for Nós do Morro: Wellington Soares
Cast: Sandro de Matos Ribeiro, Luis Henrique Delfino Rodrigues, Diogo de Brito Sales, Luis Henrique Delfino Rodrigues, Diogo de Brito Sales, Renato Rocha, Mary Sheila de Paula Costa, Alexis Martins Froes Abraham, Cecilia Aparecida da Silva Alves, Micael Leandro de Farias Borges, Renato Rocha, Tasnim Baxter, Dina Choudhury, Shafiq Dad, Mariana de Oliveira Bezerra, Lana Hall, Andre Hesson, Omar Khan, Natalie Lyon, Andrew Nguyen, Joshua Purfield-Clark, Tatiana Delfina Rodriguez, Onelia Sylvester, João André Rodrigues de Lima, Renan Monteiro, Aldino Santos Brito, Roberta Rodrigues, Pedro Caetano Gonçalves de Lima, Thiago dos Santos Martins.
Production notes provided by Cristiane Busato Smith
Note: This is the full video
The Complete Works Festival Workshop
Note: Workshop with Cecily Berry, for The Complete Works Festival, Stratford, 2006.
institutional video about Nós do Morro