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Brazil. Theatre. A hospital.

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Eddie Mair | 12:33 UK time, Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Nigel Wrench writes:

"This is the Brazilian cast, snapped before dress rehearsals last night, of Hysteria, performed for the first time in Britain this evening, already an international award-winner, and on PM today.


The five actors are part of Grupo XIX de Teatro, their performance is not in a theatre but in the 18th century Great Hall at England's oldest hospital, St Bartholomew's, on the edge of the City of London.


The audience is segregated as they walk in. Women sit on the benches you see in this shot, men watch as women become part of the play, telling the cast of their experiences.


All of the actors including Mara Helleno (above) have spent a year learning English for these performances. The cast sang for me last night, in Portugese, and performed part of the play, in English. Paul Heritage, director of People's Palace Projects who've brought the production to Britain, told me this morning that far from being didactic or divisive, the cast "perform with love."

He's on PM tonight too."


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