Original Portuguese text by Moncho Rodriguez ('Labirinto de Amor e Morte')
English version by Mark C. Hewitt (with Marta Carvalho)
Performed by Marta Carvalho
Music by Narciso Fernandes, featuring the voice of Clarisse Fernandes
Costume: Marília Martins
English version directed by Mark C. Hewitt
Movement consultant: Katarina Bozic
Lighting design: Ally Brett
Video documentation: Meng Makes, Artur Ribeiro (teasers)
A translation of a Portuguese theatre monologue, working with actress Marta Carvalho.
"Today I killed a man". The first words of Labyrinth plunge us into a narrative that hovers ambiguously between murder and vivid fantasy as it depicts a woman on the edge, desperate to break free of the entanglements of a love affair that has turned toxic. Has she actually killed her lover? Is this a violent reaction to coercive control? We can't be sure. Initially, we see a woman who appears in control of her destiny but soon get drawn into her inner labyrinth of vulnerability and despair. If she is to lay claim to herself again as her own woman she must find a way out of this hell and rediscover herself anew.
Written for Marta Carvalho by Galician theatremaker Moncho Rodriguez, the Portuguese version has previously been toured in Brazil, Portugal and Spain. This new English version captures the obsessive, capricious nature of the Portuguese original, losing none of its visceral energy or passion but perhaps adding a subtle layer of dark humour.
The English version of Labyrinth was previewed in Autumn 2019 with a run of performances in Hastings, Lewes, Bristol, Tunbridge Wells and London.
BRIGHTON FRINGE: 24th May - 29th May
Lantern Theatre - Brighton
"In a set scattered with rose petals and bathed in blood red light, Marta Carvalho propels us into the sadness, the frustration, the rage, the love, the tension, the pain, and the beautifully dark humour, experienced by her character, as she voices those most taboo of thoughts. Yes, she killed him she declares; but has she? She symbolically eats his ashes and he becomes part of her in a neat symbolic reversal of the power roles. She acknowledges the various familiar roles that woman can slip into and then the haunting possession of her imagination by an ex-lover in the aftermath. … Labyrinth is full-on physical theatre in which Carvalho takes us on a woman’s rollercoaster journey through a myriad of emotions in the aftermath of a relationship. … Described as a 'fierce feminist monologue', Carvalho delivers her words bluntly and passionately, fixing you in her gaze or a stare as she moves around the circular set. It is both fascinating and disconcerting as her questions and statements seem to be aimed directly at you! … Labyrinth raises many questions about the psychology of relationships and the difficulties of parting. For that alone it is worth seeing." Anna Arnone for Hastings Independent Press (October 2019). Click here to see full review.
"Carvalho gives a passionately physical and overpowering performance throughout and she is well served by Mark C Hewitt’s English translation of the original script by Rodriguez….there is no denying Carvalho’s extraordinary performance as a woman who is trying to find her own truth." Kiefer Williams, North West Ende, Click here to see full review
“As she flew into the heart of this character her accent added to and her voice breathed into the entire room as if completely over taking it. (…) She was magnificent when she was anywhere, but with that amazing dialogue of words composed to the greatest extent of any other poet or writer with a grasp on us of the greatest of calamity. A Labyrinth is an intricate combination of paths or passages which it is difficult to find one’s way or to reach the exit. This play examined that directly as we looked on at her whose breath taking performance came to pass. An hour with a goddess, queen and empress. An hour of livened readings from an eternal craft, an hour of out stretched arms and flailing physical jolts. As a woman who in passion and in greatness throws her love around by killing its unborn master. As a subject and subjective, with honour screaming in blood at this test for all time.” Daniel Donnelly, Mumble Theatre. Click here to see full review.
Audience feedback from preview tour, autumn 2019
• “A fantastic performance – a tour de force – challenging – thought-provoking – and somehow very Portuguese.”
• “Soul touching, beautiful performance and very poetic lines.”
• “Marta took us on a profound journey of absorbing empowerment and a deep understanding of the feminine psyche. A truly wonderful journey – reaching so much we often choose to ignore!”
• “A very powerful poetic piece. A combination of very few elements worked to perfection. Timeless, tender, deep …”
• “A genuinely mesmerizing show, archetypal and beautiful with a very rare performance by an artist truly immersed in the character. Incredible. With a text so delicate and nuanced. Amazing.”
• “Beautiful, powerful, important. And funny in parts. Incredibly subtle as well. Needed. A star is born. A writer on top of his game.”