AGAMEMNON – I came from supermarket and beated my son

Rodrigo García (European Theatre Prize - New European Realities, 2009) recounts the day a father spent with his wife and son. What a tragic hero, this man goes to the supermarket where he buys a lot of useless things. Displeased, returns home and unloads upon his wife and son, after inviting them to go out to dinner. It is when he begins a reflection on the world political order, economic disparities, the new terrorism and gender identity. This text acquires today, with the crisis we are experiencing, a new freshness and formal theme: "I take out everything there's on the table / the Cokes, the remains of the sauces, everything / I leave the room clean only to the chicken wings / One two seven chicken wings / I put them on the table, each on their site / Perfect / grab the ketshup and I write well large on the table the word: TRAGEDY / and my son laugh like a fool / and I explain him TRAGEDY begins with the industrialized world."

* This show was considered by portuguese newspaper Expresso, one of the best theatre shows of 2011.

Text: Rodrigo García
Translation, direction and set: John Romão
With: Gonçalo Waddington and the children Alexandre Pires, Henrique Pires and Martim Barbeiro
Light design: Daniel Worm d'Assumpção
Light designer assistant: Eduardo Abdala
Music: Daniel Romero (.tape.)
Assistant director: Solange Freitas
Pictures: Susana Paiva
Production: Ágata Alencoão / Colectivo 84
Supports: Câmara Municipal de Almada, ZDB
Colectivo 84 / Penetrarte is a structure sponsored by the Portuguese Gouvernment - Direcção Geral das Artes

Mostra de Teatro de Almada (Almada, PT): 9 april 2011
Casa das Caldeiras (Coimbra, PT): 11 april 2011
São Luiz Teatro Municipal (Lisbon, PT): 21 - 30 april 2011
Teatro da Politécnica / Artistas Unidos (Lisbon, PT): 19 - 28 april 2012

“As a ‘stage writer’ in Bruno Tackels’ definition, Rodrigo García’s declared intention is to master all the resources of the theatre, since he works at the same time as writer, director and designer, in an attempt not so much to be ‘total’, unifying, as ‘concrete’, explicitly critical and without the slightest veneer of politeness. García’s is an explicit theatre, a theatre which rejects nuance and comment in favour of a frontal assault on the capitalist world in all its materialist pomp. His unquenchable wish is to set out the horror of the world not by indirect means but through an aggressive exposition that is direct, material and concrete. García, who was discovered at the beginning of this decade by the theatres of Europe, although he started his highly original work ten years earlier, concentrates on the processes of alienation set off by the consumer society, that traps and finally confines ordinary people in the nets of its multiple strategies. García makes no statement or comment, but shows this alienation at work through hyperbole and excess. For him, commitment is not expressed through dialogue but through the exclusive and excessive manipulation of consumer products, whose use shows their extraordinary, perverse power. García’s theatre, a concrete theatre, eschews realist reference in favour of physical metaphor, metaphor laid bare and offered to the audience in all its alienating, disturbing expression. No comfort here, no analysis, no one can remain outside what the stage denounces as the scandal of modern society: without recourse to any ‘ideological’ superiority, the director and his company throw themselves into a chaotic proliferation of food and objects, into an avalanche of consumer products and accessories. They are angry at what seems to them worthy of anger. García’s theatre offers an intense experience with no explicit message, utilising and exploiting the scenic resources of the materialist world, its goods. Goods taken as they come, oppressive and suffocating. García defines and exposes the myths of today in order to question their devastating effect on the middle levels of society, the stamping ground of capitalist alienation. (...)” (excerpt from the program of European Theatre Prize 2009)