Almada Festival 2023: Audience members speak

Festival of Almada audience member Bruno Realista.

DR You are one of the people engaged to help run the Almada Festival. You drove the official car that picked me up at the Lisbon airport. Can you tell me something about yourself?

BR I’m 31. I graduated from Lisbon’s ACT (Escola de Actores) in 2020 and presently work at the Lisbon theatre company Gato Escaldado and as a freelance actor in mostly children’s plays at Almada’s Theatre Joaquim Benite.

At Gato Escaldado, I am presently participating in a three-nation Creative Europe project that includes a company in Greece (Theama Inclusive Theatre) as the leader of the project and one in Poland (Teatr Grodzki) as well as ours in Portugal. The project is to advance inclusivity and involves incorporating physically handicapped persons in theatre performances. It’s a two-part project. Firstly, each theatre makes a film of their own work and then they come together to create a joint theatre play that includes handicapped actors. One of the Portuguese participants I work with, for example, was already studying acting when she was injured in a fire and forced to undergo limb amputation.

DR Why is the Almada Festival important to you?

BR It is the largest theatre festival in all of Portugal; one of its goals is to educate the public – which it does successfully as proven by the number of repeat audience members. It also gives me the opportunity to see new kinds of theatre.

Also, the festival inspires me and others to improve the Portuguese theatre scene. This year’s production Eins Zwei Drei from Martin Zimmermann of Switzerland gave me the chance to see Physical and Clowning Theatre for the first time. Seeing work from other European repertory companies reminds me that to date Portugal has no repertory company.