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Reis and Nobre on Stage: “A Tale of Endless Love”

What is it like to be on stage? You feel butterflies in your stomach, your hands become clammy and your mouth dries. Performance anxiety hits as you wait for the curtain to rise. The lights dim, the audience goes quieter. The curtains begin to rise and suddenly it is time. The audience waits, you ease into the lines you have rehearsed over and over, you respond to, and anticipate your fellow actors, and you watch the reaction of audience through the corner of your eye. Scene follows scene and, all too quickly, it is time for curtain fall, you wait the applause of the audience hoping that it will be hearty, not merely courteous. And suddenly it is over.

While all the Arts and Humanities attempt to comment on various aspects of Human Existence, Theatre is of special interest to me because in it one of the aspects which defines us as a species, our tendency to be “story telling animals” is particularly salient. When Shakespeare wrote “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players”, he made a statement which seems quite simple but which can be interpreted on many different levels. I discovered some of these levels on my first voyage into the world of Theatre, as an Actor in the Play “História de Amor Sem Fim”, (“A Tale of Endless Love”), alongside the great Actor Fernando Nobre.

While I have acted before for television, my first Acting experience on stage was, as they say a “completely different animal”. In television a performance can be, schedule permitting, repeated. Details can be tweaked. The end product may be “polished” through various production techniques. None of these safeguards exist on stage. There is little room for mistakes, and any mistake made must be corrected, or compensated for, immediately. This is yet one more way in which Life can imitate Art. In both Art and Life you may never get a second chance to make a good first impression. You always have to think on your feet.

Another reason why I am quickly developing an appreciation for Theatre is because, contrary to much of what appears on Television, a good Play is never meant to be mere entertainment. There is always an attempt to explore philosophical ideas and to present these by telling a story. Drawing from texts by William Shakespeare and Fernando Pessoa, the Play “História de Amor Sem Fim” brought together Music, Dance and Fashion. Some scenes summoned tears, while others produced laughter. Throughout the whole Play however, there was an underlying theme: “Love each other”, always a good message to share.

Did you get a chance to see the Play when Fernando Nobre and I performed in Lobito? Drop us a line or leave a comment. Tell us what you thought about my first Play!

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