Tiago Rodrigues

By Heart

Hommage to Shakespeare

16-18 DEC 2016
Upper Stage
90 minutes
In a world where most of us memorise nothing more poetic than passwords and pin numbers, what is the point of a theatre piece built around the spectacle of 10 people learning a Shakespeare sonnet by heart?
Full price: 20 €
Reduced, Friend & Small groups (5-9 people): 16 €
Large groups (10+ people): 14 €
People with disabilities* & Unemployed: 5 €
Companions: 10 €
If you had to choose a book to turn to when you could no longer read, which one would it be? Have you ever learned a song, a poem or even an entire book by heart? Taking these questions as its starting point, By Heart hymns the power of poetry, memory and freedom on stage. 
The distinguished artist and artistic director of the National Theatre of Portugal, Tiago Rodrigues, gives us a hymn to the power of poetry, memory and freedom. As he teaches a Shakespeare sonnet to ten audience volunteers on stage, he brings a narrative into being which connects a true story about his grandmother, who is losing her sight, with texts and tales by celebrated authors including the Nobel prize winner Boris Pasternak, Ray Bradbury, George Steiner and Joseph Brodsky. As the performance continues, it becomes clear why he has chosen this particular sonnet.
By Heart, which is being staged at the OCC as part of the tribute to Shakespeare in the 400th year since his death, is all about the hiding place we keep safe in our minds and hearts, the place where we keep forbidden texts safe—texts which keep civilization safe in even the most brutal and troubled of times. For, as George Steiner once noted: “Once 10 people know a poem by heart, there’s nothing the KGB, the CIA or the Gestapo can do about it. It will survive”.


Written and Performed by: Tiago Rodrigues
Text with fragments and quotes by William Shakespeare, Ray Bradbury, George Steiner, Joseph Brodsky, et al.
Set, Props and Costume Magda Bizarro
English Translation: Tiago Rodrigues, revised by Joana Frazão
Executive Production on the original creation: Magda Bizarro, Rita Mendes
Production: Teatro Nacional D. Maria II after an original creation by the company Mundo Perfeito
Co-producers: O Espaço do Tempo, Maria Matos Teatro Municipal

Performance created with the financial support by Governo de Portugal | DGArtes

With the support of the Embassy of Greece in Portugal (Press & Communication Office)

Saturday 17 December
A discussion with the participants of the hommage will follow after the performance
Co-ordinator: Savas Patsalidis, Τheater critic and Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

14 Dec 2016

19:00 Main Stage
Free admission 


Discussion on Shakespeare’s Sonnets Hommage on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death

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