A stage turned into an arena, where opposing forces fight. Attackers and defenders in an everlasting game of interest. Without frontiers. Who wins? Who loses? Do we break even?… They are the best of the best: the strongest, the toughest, the fastest, the most convincing, the most persistent, the most virtuous, the most intelligent, the most charismatic, the most wicked, the most dangerous, the most stubborn, the most eloquent, the most demolisher, the most unbeatable, the most efficient, the most powerful… An artificial group of selected ones, an army of soldiers who don’t know what are they fighting for. A theatre performance turned into a stadium, the court bar, the psychotherapist’s couch, the school’s playground, the immune system, the scientific laboratory, the political assembly — an organisation of (non)united nations. The strongest link. In the name of everything. In the name of nothing. Just because. But also in the name of Nation still waiting to be established. A performance-nightmare, more heroic than patriotic. An opening ceremony which is also a closing ceremony both at the same time, a TV show which is also a horror movie, a dictatorial “fado” song which is also a psychedelic anthem, a sport race which is also a Russian roulette, a strategy game which is also a declaration of war, a soap opera which is also a historic series. One single episode, the first one is the last one. Two hundred years ago, in the town of Torres Vedras, nothing really happened.
“National Selection” is a theatre project divided in three different, yet complementary interventions: an installation of vintage posters inspired by the political propaganda of dictatorial European states of the first half of the 20th century, a live show, and a short movie titled “The Ship”, directed by Portuguese filmmaker Bruno Carnide. Original texts by Rogério Nuno Costa and Luís Filipe Cristóvão. Artistic direction by Rogério Nuno Costa in collaboration with the Grupo de Teatro do Académico de Torres Vedras. The project was commissioned by Torres Vedras Municipality.
O NAVIO/THE SHIP
First and only episode of a parodic “soap opera” produced for the project “Selecção Nacional” [National Selection]. “The Ship” is a cynical perspective on a very important event of the Portuguese history: the French Invasions. Heroism is substituted by cowardice; will by waiver; strength by failure. The whole project was commissioned by Câmara Municipal de Torres Vedras for the 200th Anniversary of The French Invasions commemoration, and was produced by Académico de Torres Vedras.
Concept/Direction: Rogério Nuno Costa. Camera/Edition: Bruno Carnide. Sound: Roberto Marto. Screenplay: Luís Filipe Cristóvão. Actors: David Bernardes, Sofia Diniz, Magda Matias, Diana Coelho, Estela Brito, Virgínio Almeida, Tatiana Silva, Marta Antunes, Nuno Relvas, André Simões, Ana Almeida, among others. Photography: Cátia Cóias. Design: Filipe Branco.