Currently dedicated exclusively to writing, Christina Mirjol has had a diverse path, having staged two of her own texts (Presqu’il, CDM Company, Paris / Avignon / 1st prize at the Festival du Bourget, 1988, and Je cours, j’ai tellement de hâte, “Presqu’il” Company, Paris, 1993), acted, taught acting, and directed several traineeships, theatre workshops and educational projects stemming from her own texts or other authors’ (Herbert Achternbusch, Pascal Rambert, Pierre Péju…). She has published several books: Dernières lueurs, Mercure de France, 2008; Suzanne ou le récit de la honte, Mercure de France, 2007; La fin des paysages, Éditions du Laquet, 2001; and Les Cris, Éditions du Laquet, 1999, a text with over two hundred fragments which have been staged and read for the public several times.
In 2003, Christina Mirjol co-wrote, with Jean-Pierre Sarrazac, Cantiga para JÁ, Place de la Révolution, a play commissioned by the “Coimbra Capital Nacional da Cultura” organization. For this purpose, she travelled to Portugal, where she worked alongside Jean-Pierre Sarrazac on the performance, co-produced by the Companhia de Teatro de Braga and the Centro Dramático Galego, with Diogo Dória, Carlos Feio, João Melo, Sílvia Ribeiro, Celso Parada, Elina Luaces, Rogério Boane, and Sílvia Lima, translated by Alexandra Moreira da Silva, with set design by Claire Chavanne, costume design by Sílvia Alves and Claire Chavanne, choreography by Né Barros, music by Carlos Martins and Armando Teixeira and video by Amarante Abromavici and Tiago Afonso.
With a reflection on the utopia of revolutions (the Carnation Revolution, May of ’68) as its starting point, Christina Mirjol and Jean-Pierre Sarrazac put forth a journey through the memory of April 1974 (and a clear homage to Zeca Afonso), as well as through the new “esfera do familiar e do popular” [“sphere of the familiar and popular”] in the modern, consumerist, globalized Europe, setting the most banal and ferocious everyday events of the contemporary world and the most absolute dreaminess side by side. The play debuted at Coimbra’s Gil Vicente Theatre in December 2003.
THE MAN WITH THE SHOPPING CART
I loaded it again. Too many. Too much. Yes. I put too much stuff in it again. It’s too tall. It seemed bigger, the cart. It seemed a lot bigger. It always seems bigger to me. It’s not that big, this cart. It’s not that big, after all, it’s really quite small, and actually it fills up quickly. You filled it up again. It’s too tall. Too tall. Overflowing. Yes, it’s full, it’s tall, it’s overflowing, it’s tall, I put too much stuff in it again. Too much stuff, it’s too tall. It’s going to fall over, I tell you. It’s going to fall over, I put too much stuff in it. Yes. Too much stuff. And I still didn’t put all of it in. I couldn’t have. Not all of it, no, I couldn’t have. It’s very small, this cart. Very small. And I didn’t put everything in. But you overfilled it, says my wife, too much. You filled it too much again. Because, deep down, says my wife, you’d like to put everything in it. Everything at once. Do everything at once. Because deep down in your heart you hope to put everything in it, says my wife. The cart, full, of course, she knows what she’s talking about, it’s in the box. Because I see carts go by, says my wife, and always full, all of them, it’s too tall, too tall, it’s going to fall over, I tell you. I’m going back, I tell her. You’ll have to go back, she tells me. I’ll leave all of this and then go back, I tell her. (…)
She’s smart, it’s true, when I’m at the register, I play the customer and she, at the till, adds up the shopping and plays the cashier. We pretend we don’t know each other and I, I really like to play the customer, I have all the time. We met here. It’s true, me and my wife met here. I was a metalworker. But that’s all over. Now I have all the time.
(translated from Cantiga para JÁ, Place de la Révolution, pp. 79 and 81)
Selected primary bibliography
Mirjol, Christina / Jean-Pierre Sarrazac (2003), Cantiga para JÁ, Place de la Révolution, trans. Alexandra Moreira da Silva, Braga, CTB / Coimbra Capital Nacional da Cultura.
Selected critical bibliography
AAVV (2003a) «Uma Cantiga para JÁ», programme for Cantiga para JÁ, Place de la Révolution, Braga, CTB / Centro Dramático Galego.
SILVA, Alexandra Moreira da (2003b), «Para um teatro “pré-filosófico”: temas e variações», preface to Cantiga para JÁ, Place de la Révolution, trans. Alexandra Moreira da Silva, Braga, CTB / Coimbra Capital Nacional da Cultura.
Alexandra Moreira da Silva (2011/11/18)