The play ‘Good Night Mother’ by American playwright Marsha Norman, which debuts on Wednesday in the Theater Room of the Trindade Theater in Lisbon, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983, and now has the village of Fundão.
The action focuses on a cold and pragmatic mother and a daughter who has failed in everything in life, and the director Hélder Gamboa puts them in a village near Fundão, Peraboa, in the district of Castelo Branco, where he made an artistic residence on the play .
“It is a fabulous piece with a very exquisite sense of humor about two women – mother and daughter – who live together and who, for the first time in their lives, have an open conversation with each other,” told the director.
A widowed mother in her 60s and a daughter with epilepsy, in their 35s, 40s, are the central characters of “Good Mother Night.”
The play takes place during the hour and a half, a real time of a night in which mother and daughter talk, after telling her mother that at 11:00 pm that night she will commit suicide.
The conversation runs through the lives of each one of them, in what is the only night in which mother and daughter break the solitude and isolation that marked the existence of both, despite sharing the same physical space.
During this hour of conversation, the mother – Telma – is struggling arguments to try to avoid the suicide of Luísa, the daughter, not being able, however, to fulfill the objective.
A patient with epilepsy and with a delinquent son, Luísa does not give in, in what is the only action of her life in which she decides for herself, said Helder Gamboa, noting that “never throughout the play is the spectator taken to take pity on this character “.
And it is during an hour and a half of conversation that Telma and Luisa realize that, despite the distance between their relationship, the two have much in common.
Just as the daughter did not love the husband whom her mother had arranged to marry her, and she did not desire the son her husband eventually imposed on her, her mother never loved Luisa’s father.
“This play ends up portraying a single night where mother and daughter are, for the first and only time, true to each other,” said Helder Gamboa.
The arguments that the daughter invokes to commit suicide are so sustained that to take pity on someone the spectator will be sorry for who stays and never of who leaves, stressed.
“But this play is also a libel to life and love,” said Helder Gamboa, the director.
The piece has a translation of Ângela Pinto, who also interprets the work, with Sylvie Dias.
The set design is by Rui Filipe Lopes, the original music by Luís Lucena and the staging and dramaturgy by Helder Gamboa.
“Good Night Mother” is a co-production of the Trindade Inatel Theater with Tenda Produções and will be on stage until November 25, with shows from Wednesday to Saturday at 9:30 p.m., and on Sundays at 5 p.m.
The play, which according to Helder Gamboa received several Tony awards in New York, premiered in Portugal in 1986 at the D. Maria II National Theater with an interpretation by Fernanda Borsatti and Guida Maria.
About 11 years ago, Celso Cleto also did a staging of the work, starring Sofia Alves and Manuela Maria.