Henry IV

Opens on 31st January!

Adapted & Directed by Suresh Nampuri

Set Designer: Maria Sanchez
Asst. Set designer and Production Asst: Kezia Homfray
Music: Filipe Fernandes Thomaz
Seamstress: Elizabeth Day
Photographer: Beactriz Guerreiro
Stage Manager: Vicky Shearn

This loose limbed free-flowing adaptation of Luigi Pirandello’s audaciously layered and cerebrally psychedelic 1920s masterpiece ushers you into the delirious hall of mirrors that is the mind of a man who, after an accident while at a medieval pageant, is locked into the role he played in the pageant, Henry IV, for the next twenty years! The action opens at his house on the day when his friends arrive with a psychiatrist in an attempt to cure him of his delusions, setting into motion an increasingly unhinged chain of confessions, revelations and a decades-in-the-making act of catharsis, and reality acquires a shade of the twilight zone where every moment reality oozes dizzyingly into the infinite nether realm of a delirious imagination, where the rules of sanity slowly vanish in a labyrinth of mirrors that reflect ever-changing masked images of ourselves and memory bleeds into hazy dreams of multiple realities.

Cast: Pat Butler, Inês Chora, Francisco Gomes, Margarida Leão, Beatriz Andrez, Gonçalo Perestrello, Santina Polky-Link, Nathalia Rodrigues

31st January  – 10th February at Estrela Hall
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 21.00 (9pm)
Wednesday 6th February at 21.00 (9pm)
Matinee on 3rd and 10th February at 16.00 (4pm)

To book, please go to Reservations and fill in the form. 

Our new 2018/19 committee, and planning for the near future

Dear Members and supporters,

First of all, many thanks to everyone who came to the AGM on Monday 12th March.

We will be in touch with many of you and many others in the coming weeks, to tell you about how we would like you to be involved in LP in the near future.

The new structure for the 2018/19 committee, elected at the AGM, is as follows:

Cassandra Woolford (treasurer)
Celia Williams
Colin Lee-Warde
Elizabeth Bochmann
Gordon Cope (secretary)
Jamie Darke
Katerina Karachaliou
Peter Dawson
Stephen Bull (chairman)
Suresh Nampuri
Valerie Braddell

Please do not hesitate to contact us. You can use lisplayers@gmail.com and you can visit our website (www.lisbonplayers.com.pt) or our facebook page (www.facebook.com/lisbonplayers).

Update on the sale of Estrela Hall

 Dear Members and Supporters of the Lisbon Players,

The ‘Estrela Site’ was sold on 21/12/2017 by the FCO.
We are happy to report, however, that under an agreement with the new owners, plans are underway for moving to a new, slightly larger, Estrela Hall inside the ‘Quarteirão Inglês’.

As we look back at the Lisbon Players’ 70 years in Estrela Hall, we are also looking forward to 70 more years in a (new) Estrela Hall, in the ‘Quarteirão Inglês’ or ‘Estrela Site’, where British and other foreign communities have a history going back at least to the time of D. Maria.

Before telling you of recent developments, we should remember that we might not have had the last ten or so years in Estrela Hall, nor the prospect of a future, without the steadfast stand by several Committees of the Lisbon Players over the last few years; bleak times during which it appeared that LP might have no viable future home.
Since the late ‘90s, and particularly since 2004, the British Government has been pressing to sell the ‘Estrela Site’, in line with UK policy of not holding an ‘Unwanted asset’.

Thanks to the people of Lisbon and their elected representatives this story has moved into a more positive phase.
Successive LP Committees have worked to widen our base beyond the resident British community in Lisbon, and first language English-speaking communities here. More and more Portuguese participants and audience have enjoyed and contributed to our work at Estrela Hall, and become aware of the Lisbon Players’ fragile position.
Unflagging support at Câmara Municipal and Freguesia level and, we feel, pride in the rich history of the Quarteirão Inglês, have grown, and in February 2016 the Presidents of the Assembleia Municipal de Lisboa and the Junta de Freguesia de Campo de Ourique proposed a motion to the AML, “In defence of the The Lisbon Players and of maintaining Estrela Hall”. At that meeting, hopes for a local health centre were also brought up, and local parking issues had been known of for some time. The motion was unanimously approved.
Shortly afterwards, a promissory contract was signed between the buyers, Arquimelo 2. S.A. and the FCO (represented by the Embassy).

Earlier this year, at the Embassy, the buyers showed LP plans for a new Estrela Hall, next to the Parsonage, rather than as at present next to the Hospital, and in a building which would also house a new health centre, and provide parking space. These had already been discussed at local government level.

The plans inevitably come with a feeling of bereavement; the happy ghosts of Estrela Hall, and decades of memories cannot be treated lightly. (We hope they will move down the road with us.)
But they both enable LP to have a secure future in a new Estrela Hall, and enable others on the site, and local residents, to benefit.

The theatre will be larger than the current Estrela Hall, with a separate entrance, and managed exclusively by the Lisbon Players, and the plan brings the benefit of underground parking space.
A reasonable monthly rent has already been agreed upon by both the buyer and LP.
Though we would be freed from the unpredictable needs of maintaining and heating the old Estrela Hall, this will be both a new opportunity and a challenge.

Building is expected to start at the end of 2018 and take 18-24 months to complete.
In this interim period, Lisbon Players will have to find alternative spaces for performances, as well as storage for props and costumes. (Members’ and others’ suggestions would be most welcome.)
The buyers, through their group of companies, have been very generous in offering sponsorship and possibly assistance in warehousing to enable the Lisbon Players to carry on our work during this period.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank LP Committees over several years for valiantly pursuing the goal of a secure future for LP, and to members for their staunch and consistent support. We are extremely grateful to the Freguesia, Assembleia, and Câmara, for insisting that the plans secure Lisbon Players’ future in the local community, and especially to some who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes.
We also thank Arquimelo for coming up with a solution that enables the Lisbon Players to carry on for many years to come with modern facilities for actors, helpers, and audience.

The Lisbon Players’ Committee have done everything in our power to try to remain in the present Estrela Hall, but following the court case we could have been evicted at any time.
We believe that what has been offered and agreed with the buyers goes beyond the outcome we could have expected, and that we will end up with a modern facility providing many opportunities that we have not had to date.

Under these circumstances the Committee, on behalf of Members and supporters of the Lisbon Players, have agreed to accept the conditions indicated in writing by the buyers, Arquimelo 2 S.A..

The contract will be signed in the near future and we will keep members informed of Lisbon Players’ input into the ongoing discussions with the buyer’s architect, (we anticipate seeking advice from specialist theatre architects), and key dates such as when work will begin.

We think of this as the next step in the memorable history of the Lisbon Players and the cultural history of Lisbon, and are confident that the new opportunities and challenges presented by these changes will only enable us to grow, as a theatre and a vital cultural hub of the city.

Looking forward to the next 70 years of the Lisbon Players serving the public and community in Estrela Hall, we wish everyone a happy Christmas.

Important announcement from the Lisbon Players

Dear Audience and supporters of the Lisbon Players,
Aware of your concerns about the future of our beloved theatre, even as we celebrate Lisbon Players’ 70th year in Estrela Hall, we would like to share some recent news.
Naturally our preference has always been to consult and inform members about such major matters, but as the smallest cog in a complex machine, we have little influence on the pace of negotiations.
There will be a meeting at the British Embassy on Monday 18th December for all the ’Stakeholders’ on the Estrela Site.
The Estrela Site now being sold includes all the land and buildings from the British Hospital down to the Parsonage, but not the Anglican Cemetery or Church.
At this meeting, Arquimelo 2, S.A., the buyers, will present their plans for the site, and they and the Embassy intend to complete sale (Escritura) on Thursday 21st December.
The buyers have been working with the CML on the task of planning, and, while taking into account the interests of sellers, local citizens, and stakeholders, have shown awareness and sensitivity to the historical importance of the site.
We understand that their plans include a health centre, a new Estrela Hall, and parking space (a long term need in the area), all in the Estrela Site (Quarteirão Inglês).
Initial talks with Arquimelo have gone well; they have listened and shown goodwill to Lisbon Players’ concerns about continuity, the needs of Estrela Hall as a working theatre, and our role in the various communities we serve, and who work with us.
We are now close to an agreement with Arquimelo, in which we foresee becoming tenants of a new Estrela Hall in the Quarteirão Inglês.
However, various important details such as timings for formalising an agreement, and the timeline for construction works to begin on the site still remain undefined, and both sides continue to work together on this.
Please stay alert to eMails to our mailing list, social media and the press, in the coming days.
Many thanks will soon be due to many people, in several entities involved in the future of the Estrela Site, and we are hopeful that these will follow in the near future, when we announce, as they say in Portuguese, the “Celebration of the contract”.

2017-2018 Season

Still to come this season:

“Home” by David Storey – opens 3rd May

“The Diary of Anne Frank” by F. Goodrich and A. Hackett – opens 14th June


Update on Estrela Hall

In May the Committee was invited by the Embassy to a meeting with the prospective buyer of the Estrela Site (who signed a promissory contract to buy in March 2016, which is still active).

Continuing our policy of keeping communication open with all parties involved, we accepted the invitation, and the director of Arquimelo, the property development company, explained aspects of their plans and showed us architectural drafts.

Other people and organisations with an interest in the Estrela Site, and influence on its future, will be shown these plans.

You may recall that the Assembleia Municipal and the Junta de Freguesia showed, in their vote early in 2016, that they hope to protect LP in Estrela Hall. There are also plans to create a Centro de Saúde on the site, and other organisations who wish to stay. Parking remains a local concern. With the Embassy, the prospective buyer, Junta de Freguesia, other stakeholders, and the Câmara Municipal (whose approval is indispensable), outcomes are hard to predict, though a slow process of decision making must be anticipated, which might be counted in years rather than months.

While it is a positive development that discussions take place on a possible future for the Estrela Site, and with Lisbon Players included in both the planning and in that future, we must stress that these are early days.

We would like members to know that the Committee continue hopeful of a good resolution, are taking legal advice, keep in touch with as many relevant people as possible, and will keep you informed if at some point major developments or decisions become imminent.

2016 Timeline of Recent Events

To read more about recent events at Estrela Hall, click here to read our 2016 Timeline of Recent Events.

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