More than four hundred people participated in the route that recreates “The Crime of Padre Amaro” and the time in which Eça de Queiroz lived in Leiria, in a staged visit that is re-edited from the end of the month.
Encouraged by the municipality of Leiria, with regard to the premiere of the series on RTP, the theater group “O Gato” renewed the route in a street theater format and acceptance in the first five sessions, between January and February, “was a pleasant surprise “, told the Lusa agency the director.
“The maximum was 30, 35 people [inscritas por sessão], but others began to join in, almost a kind of popular revolt: “We want to see street theater”. And we’ve had between 80 to 90 people [por sessão]”, said Fernando José Rodrigues.
Among registered participants and many “penetras”, there were “surely more than 400 people watching the play and not moving away, even with the cold and reading texts”, provided at the beginning of the visit, to make the public “agent of the route itself “.
The drama runs through Rodrigues Lobo square, the Igreja da Misericórdia, the Sé de Leiria or the Torre Sineira, among other spaces in the historic center of the city, which appear in the novel or which are linked to the writer’s presence in Leiria.
The city served as inspiration for the work, when Eça de Queiroz lived there, performing duties as administrator of the municipality, between 1870 and 1871.
“Throughout this staged visit, Eça coexists with the characters he will create. This mix between fiction and reality, between what happened and what didn’t happen, mixing everything, was good. Here, Eça is the author, but at the same time At the same time, he also feels like a character. It is this part that has also started to interest people”, he considered.
For Fernando José Rodrigues, this is what explains the high turnout, which filled several sessions a few minutes after opening registration.
“We were very surprised by this adhesion from all sides. There are many people from Leiria, but, last Sunday [de Fevereiro] we had a lot of people from Porto, Santarém, Benavente”, he recalled.
The RTP series, directed by Leonel Vieira, “without a doubt” gave impetus to Rota d’O Crime do Padre Amaro. But “then the route started to take on a little life of its own” “And we started to get amazed, because everything started to get sold out”. To react to the demand, it was necessary to make “alterations to the markings” to allow the eight actors “to be right in the middle of the people”. “It has been a pleasant surprise”, said the author and director, who is also an actor, playing the role of Eça de Queiroz.
The success of the first representations meant that a new series is already scheduled for the 26th of March, 30th of April, 21st of May, 18th of June and 30th of July. “We hope that membership will be equal. [Mas] We know that one day – we are not “Cats” – the bubble will go down”, recognized Fernando José Rodrigues. For now, the director is preparing changes to the route: “something that can surprise the public”, he concluded.
More information and registration (free) in Visit Leiria website (Registration for the walk in March opens on the 16th). There is also a proposal for meals inspired by Eça’s literature in several restaurants for “a sensorial experience with the flavor of the 19th century”.