Director and Producer
This show was my first experience just as director. It was the graduation show of the StoneCrabs Young Directors Programme. During 9 months of Residency, me and 8 directors received training and all the support to produce a Festival where each of us would direct a 45 min show. It has changed my life completely! I've learned so much with my colleagues and my tutors! And more than that, I've had an extraordinary experience with my actors and the whole Festival team!
About the show
The Brazilian playwright Paulo Santoro explores the miracle of galaxies, space, birds, memories and the discovery that death is life itself. As an elderly couple attempts to recall the most beautiful moment in their lives they begin to wonder who they really are. In this visually enticing production, Santoro approaches the theme of dementia with poetry and gusto. Among wheelchairs and heart medicines, a question arises: “Is there a right time to call for a prostitute?”
It is a great text, a little absurd, bringing the style of Ionesco and Becket and ending beautifully. I have chosen to direct this play because of the central theme: death. It’s an important issue in my life at this moment, due to a recent loss I had. Everything can become superficial, without meaning, when we loss someone we love. However, after this huge and deep sadness I could look to life with more generous eyes. The death comes always out of the blue, shaking us, showing we can die anytime. And because of that the miracle of life is something to be celebrated. So, in this show, I tryed to bring the life energy to talk about the death.
The staging of it was very visual and physical; I set the play in an old fashion Carnival ballroom. This carnival was an interference from outside, a symbol of the life running outside while these characters are there wanting for the death. Another important reference was a dancer, Alexandra Dias, present all the time on the stage, bringing another layer of meaning to the story. The use of props, and tracks was very important as well.
Author: Paulo Santoro
Directed and Produced by Fernanda Mandagará
Cast: Alexandra Dias, Bridget Wood and Peter Mcvea
This show is part of the Stomping Ground Festival
Back for 2017, StoneCrabs Theatre presents London’s most exciting festival of emerging directors. Over 3 nights, Stomping Ground Festival showcases the talents of 9 remarkable young directors pushing new boundaries and making waves in the theatre scene today.
The Albany, Deptford host something for everyone as each director reveals his or her bold and original voice. Expect, drama, romance, comedy, clowning and more! March 15 – 17, 2017.
About the Residency
StoneCrabs is a director-led company: its interest in nurturing new directors from all sectors of the community fuels this programme. Each year a small number of young directors go through training programme centred around production, project management and theatre directing. It introduces artistic and practical management tools for the director and encourages an individual approach, utilizing the director’s own vision. At the end of the programme, the participants put their training into practice by producing a festival of staged readings with professional actors, each participant directing a play of their choice. This popular Programme has been running since 2006.
2016-2017 Young Directors in Training are: Chris Davis, Luke Howarth, Bethany Kapila, Sam Luffman, Fernanda Mandagará, Emily Marshall, Francine Morgan, Alex Prescot and Edwina Strobl.
I've learnt so many things during this residency… it’s crazy how in a short period of time this course has changed my life… First of all, they proved to us in every meeting that it is completely possible to produce our work here in London and that we are capable of doing it by ourselves and carry on after the course. They completely believed in our talent, making us to believe too. They are so generous and this is a rare quality, we don't really find it everywhere.
The SCYD tutors required from us a high professional standard, the standard of StoneCrabs Theatre, and they believed we could deliver it. More than that, they taught us and supported us with a whole structure and counseling from Franko and incredible professionals. I am a better producer and director after this course, now I am awarer of how to work to create the best conditions to make my shows to happen. I learnt how to be more professional and objective; how to talk about me and sell my work; how to use my time better; how to separate the Fernanda director from the Fernanda producer. You can be the best director and have great ideas, but if you don’t know how to put your show on the market, nobody will see it. And without audience, we don’t have theatre.
Besides that, the group of directors was diverse, generous and I’ve been learning a lot with my colleagues that became friends. I really feel I am part of something bigger: a group of talented artists supporting each other and sharing a common passion: the theatre.
Regardless to the creative support, we have also had many workshops with such talented directors! It’s been an amazing journey among distinct techniques and styles that we could experiment and incorporate to our work. This residency is absolutely priceless and I will be always grateful for this opportunity. If want to more about this Programme and about StoneCrabs Theatre go to their website: