the importance of being marguerite duras


marguerite duras (1914-1996) was a renowned french writer, filmmaker, and playwright. her work, imbued with characters driven to the extremes of love, madness, or even crime, bore the indelible imprint of her youth spent in indochina. initially situated within the framework of postwar neorealism, she later gravitated towards the principles of the nouveau roman. however, her novels transcend mere experimentalism, embodying an intensely personal essence. the intertwining of her life and art is so profound that it becomes challenging to perceive them as separate entities.
given that duras was one of bonneville’s strongest influences, a connection they had fostered since their adolescence, particularly through her books, they had never thought they would be able to create a work that placed duras as its central element, as a direct homage. however, over the years, they realized it would be impossible, and almost indecent, not to add her to the list of influential figures in their work the importance of being. in this final performance of the series, bonneville sought to interconnect elements that duras also worked with – cinema, theater, literature – delving deeply into the recurring themes in duras’s work: autofiction and autobiography, the emotional upheaval caused by love, desire, suffering, and death, driving her characters towards the brink of madness, as well as apocalyptic motifs and an interest in primordial life.

director, writer and performer: miguel bonneville. performers: bruno senune, oak kristopher, tânia pena. voice-over: afonso santos, vanda cerejo. composer: rodrigo duran. composer and sound design: mestre andré. costume design: mariana sá nogueira. lighting design: nuno patinho. set design: nuno tomaz. video-mapping: eduardo cunha. characterization prop: blue & júlio alves. video edition & visual content: joana linda. book design: ilhas. executive production: miguel bonneville, rita maia. residency support: campus paulo cunha e silva, citemor. co-production: teatro do silêncio, teatro viriato, theatro circo. this project was financed by governo de portugal/secretaria de estado da cultura/dgartes.

5th of november 2022, teatro viriato, viseu, portugal