May 10, 2011 - May 12, 2011 21:00
inspired by The Book of Disquiet
by Fernando Pessoa
This morning an Other put on my suit, left the house and took my place in the world.
I slipped myself out through my only window, a window overlooking infinity.
And so I was another for a little time.
I got lost in the city streets, while my home and my life became inhabited by this unknown Other. Hour after hour, day after day amid the multitude, I became conscious of having always lived in disguise as someone else, of having always suffered and rejoiced like someone I didn’t know.
It lasted only a moment, but I saw myself.
Abito, inspired by The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, is the simple story of an ordinary man, anyone of us, who one morning, rather than ‘putting on’ his regular life, leaves his house by the window and gets lost in the streets of his everyday world, which he no longer recognizes, and which no longer recognizes him.
What is he looking for?
Is it possible for the human being to lose himself – and to then search for a meaning of existence beyond everyday life without chasing after ghosts or inventing religions?
After several years of reading and rereading The Book of Disquiet, by its nature virtually impossible to stage – if not with an outright betrayal – Abito has become a necessary homage to the great Portuguese poet and writer who seems to become more and more our contemporary as his works (and those of his heteronyms) are rediscovered and published.
The Lisbon of an assistant bookkeeper resonates in the music and songs of this performance, blending in with the flurry of twelve bicycles which bring the space of action to life, rendering it constantly mobile.
Next to the four actors of the Compagnia Laboratorio are eleven young actors, who give body to the story: A small world coming to life in the large space which is, on closer inspection, our everyday Lisbon.
When I leaned out of the high window over the street I looked down without seeing. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality, it’s all fading away. I continually feel that I was someone else, that I felt and thought as another. It lasted only a moment, but I saw myself.