Welcome Goodbye

Paula Roush

Adeus Obrigada: Journeys, dislocations and imaginary nations

A Portugusese season of performative art with: Teatro Praga, Patricia Portela, Beatriz Cantinho, Cao Solteiro, Rogerio Nuno Costa, Marilia Maria Mira, Valentim Quaresma, Teresa Milheiro, Rodrigo Vilhena, Liavali Coquet, Monica De Miranda, Paula Roush, Ana Antonio Gill, Luis Torres, Nuno Luz.

Curated by Paula Roush and Tiago Neves

Date: May-June 2006

Welcome Goodbye Adeus Obrigada brought together artists that use journeys and imaginary places as the departure for their work, their projects sharing references to tourism, migration and new geographical territories. The works were shown in and around the Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell and Little Portugal, the name given to Stockwell's Portuguese community in the heart of south London. The programme brought together Portuguese artists living in Lisbon and the UK for the first time.

Locating of the project in the site of the Little Portugal was the first challenge, raising the issue of the veracity of this micronation we chose to call Little Portugal. In this a real territory with fixed borders, language and daily practices, or above all a tourist simulacra and just plain cultural ethnic marketing?

Without opting for definitive statements, we saw the public spaces associated with this locale as encouraging speculations about the existence of a third space: a hybrid territory developing from transnational encounters and cross-border dialogues embedded in the fabric of day to day life. Not completely portuguese nor completely british either, the third space of Little Portugal conjures in our project the ideal location for the development of artistic processes whose working practices have the same flexibility and territorial nomadism associated with the migrant communities, but that also intrinsically relate to tourism and travel, as Little Portugal itself has the potential of a new tourist destination.

This translocational focus has historical resonances with projects developed in the UK in the mid sixties described as 'the context is half of the work'. The concept, highly relevant for the understanding of site-specific practices, namely the ones involved with the embedding of artists in socio-economic contexts, has evolved into more globalised, de-territorialized approaches, which here we playfully describe as 'the travel is half of the work', in the sense that the journey becomes both a topic/subject of the art work but also a way of working. This differentiation may point also to the evolving condition of the contemporary artist, between the condition of the migrant worker and the mobile networker, in its varying degrees of travelling freedom.

This imperfect and incomplete scrap-videojournal represents a roadmap of three memorable moments of a month-long journey, playing with words and performed actions, sometimes with the help of a script as in the case of Actor by Rogerio Nuno Costa, other moments thriving in chaos and absurdity with a body refusing to conform to normality, as in Singularity by Beatriz Cantinho; and finally, drowning amongst spectres and unborn children as in Drama: Five Shipwrecks and a Twilight by Cao Solteiro.

ACTOR by Rogério Nuno Costa


Lisbon, May 2006


This is the script for the performance “ACTOR”, by Rogério Nuno Costa. What happens in the script is exactly what happens in the performance.

The script can be read BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the performance. You can use and abuse it as long as you maintain your concentration when watching the performance. There will be proper lighting for reading.

The script is divided according to the exact same stages of the performance. The transition between those stages is signalled by a lighting setting named blackout.

At the beginning of this script the spectator can find a drawing of the space, so he can recognize the codes that materialize during the reading and performance.

It is not possible to follow the performance independently from the script, and vice-versa.

The author is not responsible for any changes, omissions, inconsistencies, incoherencies and other contradictions of this script according to the performance and the performance according to the script.

first approach to the scene | concentration, sequences and aims Video-projection: there is a sequence of facial expressions based on the stanislavskian working method that was studied during the process. Each facial expression change corresponds to a different stanislavskian chapter, as well as to a different chapter of the process that lead to this show. I am at POINT M3, repeating the names of each chapter in French, the original language of the text.

I go to ZONE G. I start a movement sequence that will last around 15 minutes. This sequence was created with Marina Nabais, and is based on a brainstorming exercise around the main ideas behind this project. The aim is not to do and then think about the process, or vice-versa. The main aim is to transform both things into a coin. Two sides that obligatorily ask for a third one that must supply an explanation. In the next 3 pages, I present a scheme that shows a possible synthesis of all things mentioned above:

15 m group 1 – COMMUNICATION

the main concept is “construction”
the basis of movement is “rhythm”
the mirror is used as a “technical mirror”


  1. FOCUS
  3. WALL
  4. LINE

SINGULARITY by Beatriz Cantinho

lettuce salad
I never saw a tree inside a seed
I never ate an orange’s section that would grow inside of me
I’ll never be a tree once I cease being a woman
[and if I’ll be I’ll never now]

I know that people eat
and sometimes love

We time life as it slowly happens

and every thing is part of the scenario where

            a look,  
            an idea  
            an absolutely singular moment  


If we open a corpse – scalpel, pincers – searching for remains of a world

we find a drawer full of slides where the whole of life can fit. because life has the meaning of the things we do and things have meaning because they are done.

The world crawls from retina to retina and eyelids are the silence of vision.

DRAMA: five shipwrecks & twilight by Cao Solteiro

(...) the letter within the face...good news? (...) to drink or not to drink, that is the question... (...) a man, a woman, a long goodbye

The Devil
Marina Tsvetaeva
It is always you, you are the one that arrives in the last minute and steals the remains from the sinking ship

(...) I will rescue a tiny peace of you, a tiny piece of you will be safe from harm

Eugene O'Neill
Landscape One: he will drown very soon and all he can remember is a stupid remark made by a laughing stranger just before the ship cruised, "...she's so pretty...I wonder if she's married..."

Eugene O'Neill
Landscape Two: finally he was going to die, and that was good...A woman with a child in her arms lost on the deck...and he has to live a little longer...and then again saving them is useless, the body does not resist...the man will keep on living with the image of this small drowned body...

Before Breakfast
Eugene O'Neill
One can sink in many waters
She doesn't know that he would probably kill himself anyway
She doesn't know that when she lays her bag on the floor and decides not to leave the house she is in fact picking the day for him
She doesn't know that she is about to kill and die
She doesn't know...

Miss Otis Regrets
Cole Porter
Play it again, Sam!

Last Will and Testament of Silverdene Emblem O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
We think this is Eugene O'Neill's true testament, if not it can surely be ours for we are the bachelor Dog Comanie. We love you Blemie!

An Epilogie
Odon von Horvath
I will die in beautiful clothes talking to you, remembering all the promises of happiness. One of us will go first, an dthen the other will switch-off the light. That's life.


by Rogério Nuno Costa
Devised and performed: Rogério Nuno Costa. Lighting Design:José Álvaro Correia. Set Design: F. Ribeiro.
Video: Rui Ribeiro.
Movement Assistant: Marina Nabais.
Assistant Director: Miguel Pereira.

by Beatriz Cantinho
Choreography: Beatriz Cantinho.
Dramaturgy: Valério Romão.
Performers: Ana Gouveia, Beatriz Cantinho.
Set/costumes: Iñaki Zoilo.
Stage Props: Tiago Neves.
Lighting Design: José Manuel Rodrigues

(Five shipwrecks and a twilight)
by Cão Solteiro
Directed by Miguel Loureiro.
Cast: Paula Sá Nogueira e Paulo Lages
Director: Miguel Loureiro.
Costumes: Mariana Sá Nogueira.
Set Design: Nuno Carinhas.
Production Manager: José Manuel Rodrigues.
Technician: André Gomes