Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Riding on a cloud at the National Theatre Dona Maria II, Lisboa - The 3rd of June 2016

Having been home for two days but not wanting to miss some of the world stage Alkantara Festival performances I made an effot and after a rather straining day's work ventured into town so as to watch the first of a two theatrical performances at Teatro Dona Maria II.
I must openly confess I am glad I made the effort because no theatrical performance has touched me more since the Cherry Orchard played by my youngest daughter just a few days into my eldest daughter's demise ten years ago.
Riding on a cloud by Rahib Mroué is on the life of his brother Yasser who was shot at the age of 17 during the Civil War in Lebanon. Said to have lost his capacity to use words following the almost deadly accident Yasser started producing videos as a therapeutic approach to his impairment.
It is precisely a series of those videos that are projected into this theatrical approach merged into his reconstructed memories, thus revealing a subjective biographical account of the main character, played by himself, as well as an indirect approach to the political development in his home country - Lebanon.

The sequence of staged relexive texts are powerful ... too powerful not to be emotionally acknowledged and felt by the public. There were quite a few moments in which I had to fight tears rolling down my face and yet there were times in which I simply let emotion take over me.
The theatrical piece ends with yet another emotionally moving act - both brothers, the play writer and performer, playing the same guitar on stage.

Written on Yasser Mroué's life accounts and directed by Rahib Mroué.
Performed by Yasser Mroué with the participation of Rahib Mroué on the last scene.


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