(*) Ewa Procter
And so we can now move to the past… But not just to any past, but rather to the medieval universe of magic and battle!
Even if it tells us about a very ancient legend known all over the world, the author (Márcia Zanelatto) and the director (Guilherme Leme Garcia) believe the result is really contemporary. I am talking about “Merlin e Arthur – Um Sonho de Liberdade”, a musical that I had the opportunity of watching recently. However, in this show both Márcia and Guilherme wanted to bring the audience a parallel between the story of the Round Table, and what is happening these days, in Brazil and also in other parts of the world. So, “Merlin e Arthur – Um Sonho de Liberdade” tells us a lot about the moment we are going through, both politically and socially.
An example of this way of thinking is when the character playing King Arthur says that our greatest richness is our diversity. And later on, that one can discover too late that there are no limits to inhumanity.
The story takes place in the city of Camelot, and is told in two phases: the large cast divide themselves in playing the parts of the characters when they were young; and then, again in later days. Love and the pursuit for freedom are the main themes of this musical that tells us the story of Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot; and thus it also has to do with battles, conquests, intrigues and passions. Obviously, the famous Round Table is a character on its own. But there is much more!
An interesting feature is that the entire musical score is by a Brazilian Composer/Author, Raul Seixas. Twenty-four of his own songs (some of them written with another partner) are presented during the show: a number of these songs are very well-known, and others not so popular, but they are all part of the repertoire of Raul Seixas, and a bonus in telling this story. I believe it is an excellent way to pay homage to this wonderful musician who unfortunately died very early – 2019 is the year when we will remember he left us thirty years ago!
A very interesting feature of this musical is the role of Merlin, a character who is in another dimension. Who gives life to Merlin, and appears through images only, is actress Vera Holtz. The video where she appears at different scenes is a very interesting way of bringing Merlin to life, but at the same time keeping him as the magic figure he is.
Besides the main cast playing the major roles (Paulinho Moska, Larissa Bracher, Gustavo Machado, as Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot when grown-ups; and Rodrigo Salvadoretti, Natália Glanz and Paulo Segreto when they were young), a special mention should be made to Patrick Amstalden and Cacau Gomes, as Dreadmor and Anamorg, the excellent couple of villains, both cunning and comic. But those are not the only ones who take part in this musical: the supporting cast who sings and dances has seventeen members!
On the technical part, we have the Musical Direction of Fabio Cardia and Jules Vandystadt; Movement and Choreography by Toni Rodrigues; Set Design, scenography, lighting and video design by Anna Turra, Camila Schmidt and Roger Velloso, plus the costumes by João Pimenta. They all add to this excellent production!
“Merlin e Arthur – Um Sonho de Liberdade” plays at the Teatro Riachuelo, Rua do Passeio, 38/40, downtown, Rio de Janeiro. Telephone numbers: (21) 3554-2934 and (21) 2533-8799, from Tuesday to Saturday from 01:00 P.M. to 08:00 P.M. The theatre seats 1,000 people. Performances take place on Fridays at 08:00 P.M., Saturdays at 04:00 and 08:00 P.M., and on Sundays, at 06:00 P.M. Price of tickets range from R$ 50,00 (fifty Reais) to R$ 140,00 (one hundred and forty Reais) on Fridays; and from R$ 50,00 (fifty Reais) to R$ 160,00 (one hundred and sixty Reais) on Saturdays and Sundays. It lasts for two hours and fifteen minutes with a fifteen-minute interval. There is no formal parking at the theatre, but there is one near by. Also, the metro station (Cinelândia, Odeon exit) is a couple of blocks away. And there are plenty of taxis waiting at the door of the theatre, once the performances are over. “Merlin e Arthur – Um Sonho de Liberdade” opened on the 15th of March, and is scheduled to finish its run on the 26th of May, 2019.
So, if you are one of these people who miss the old-style magic, this is certainly a nice way to have good entertainment!
(*) Ewa Procter is a writer and a theatre translator, and Chair of the Instituto Cultural Chiquinha Gonzaga.
Photo by Caio Gallucci