Epic Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed

“Brecht and, modestly, [Boal]!”

Authored by: Jorge Louraço Figueira

The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138291027
eBook ISBN: 9781315265704
Adobe ISBN:


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A reading of Hamlet and the Baker’s Son, Augusto Boal’s autobiography, shows how Bertolt Brecht’s work and figure were present in the mind of the Brazilian author. For example, with respect to the minimal conditions to make theatre (two actors, supposedly), Boal comments, “I think it was Brecht who said that [all you needed was two actors], but if it was not, then I am saying it now!” 1 The book is subtitled “Imagined Memories” in the original edition, and it lives up to its promise. Referring to Marido Magro, Mulher Chata [Thin Husband, Boring Wife], a play written in 1957, Boal reproduces the lines of his lover at the time, a “troublesome girlfriend” who refused to go to the premiere of the show:

I’m going to stay home. In bed, with Brecht … rereading Brecht … In fact, you should start reading him. … He’s great! He died in Germany when you were rehearsing Steinbeck [Of Mice and Men]. I think he even died on the opening night. 2

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