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A Grande Sombra Loira (2013)

Tiago Barbosa
©Luis Martins
Past event
Dates and Schedules

November 13th and 14th
Saturday and sunday, 21h


Sala Bernardo Sassetti





Age Restriction



In A Grande Sombra Loira, Tiago Barbosa takes as his starting point the sonnets of Florbela Espanca. “Until recently, I didn’t have much affinity with her poetry. I’d read it by chance and found it too exalted, too exclamatory. Her dramas, with all that sentiment, sounded hysterical and honeyed to me. I didn’t understand her constant use of big words like Love, Pain, Poet and others – written like that, with a capital letter. I also seemed too rigid in the attachment to the structure of the sonnet, with its own music and rhythm. I found it all too conventional. However, for professional reasons, I was forced to memorize one of her sonnets. I did it begrudgingly, distanced by the impression it made. It happened that, as I repeated those verses aloud, I began to get excited. In a short time, I was boiling with exaltation. I screamed! I exploded in dramatic fury! Florbela’s blood and entrails replaced mine!  What horror! How marvellous! What terror! Florbela! The ground was slipping away from me! And my aesthetic convictions? I hadn’t been able to read her! And the political implications? Was I functionally illiterate? And only now had I understood? What a tragedy! Florbela! I hadn’t understood her. Was I emotionally illiterate? I read her other sonnets. She wanted to love! How could I not have heard her screaming at me from the paper? Why hadn’t I heard her? For formal reasons? Why had I not accepted her invitation? Why had I not wanted to love her? Why? I had left her alone, isolated, anguished, singing, sometimes begging and submissive, sometimes fierce and rebellious, sometimes loving and subversive, sometimes deifying herself as a poet, trapped inside her sonnets! She loved, she wanted to love, she overflowed with love and she spoke, she wanted to be heard. She tried to convince, transcending herself in the effort to reach the sublime in each verse. And I had ignored her! Only now, after all this time, could I hear her, feel the strength of her feelings. I surrendered. I read her more sonnets, all of them. The whole poetry. And I went in search of her (the one in the sonnets)”, he writes.

Cast and Creative

Text Florbela Espanca (Sonnets) Staging, Dramaturgy and Interpretation Tiago Barbosa Ocasional Assistance Nuno Gil and Vera Mantero Props Guilherme Garrido and Tiago Barbosa Light Maria Antonia Blanquer and Nuno Gil Residencies ZDB- Negócio, ON’OFF – Residências Sweet & Tender Collaborations (Guimarães 2012), Candoso Creation Centre, Demimonde, Espaço Sou, Largo Residências Co-production ZDB / Negócio Acknowledgements Ana Chhaganlal, Box – Management Artístico, António Pedro Lopes, Carla Carreira, Cláudio da Silva, Félix Lozano, Flávia Gusmão, Helena e Rui Donas, Isabel Moura, João Nuno Barbosa, Maria Joana Figueiredo, Martim Pedroso, Miguel Moreira, Pedro Pires, Rita Almiro, Vânia Rovisco


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