MNF was the result of a creative journey whose starting point was the book Morte e Nascimento de Uma Flor de Elvira Santiago (The Death and Birth of a Flower from Elvira Santiago), aka Helena Rodrigues. Like this book, which blends Joana Quental’s illustrations and Alberto Péssimo’s drawings to appeal to children and adults alike, MNF is for everybody, regardless of age.
Keeping to the creative philosophy of Companhia de Música Teatral, MNF is a work of music-theatre characterized by a succession of frames in which music, movement and digital art meet. A set of inflatables are reconfigured throughout the piece to generate colorful, sensory shapes, representing the book’s ideas of transformation and cycles on the stage.
There is no narrative; the show is intended to add an extra something to the reading of the book or vice versa. The spectator can create their own narrative, be the author of an inner libretto, and this is what really matters. The idea of searching for a meaning for our own lives is represented in the book through a metaphor of using images by two very different visual artists, who take us into their confidence through their personal interpretations. The theme of death, often avoided in our day-to-day dialogue with children, is addressed in the book as a phase in a cycle.
The concept of transformation continues on stage, not by presenting a literal transposition of the book but its metamorphosis into a kind of image puzzle guided by Music and Movement in which non-verbal communication becomes the essential language. MNF seeks to captivate both children and adults, using basic elements of communication, a variety of music, interactive strategies for audience and performers and instances of humour, in an enchanting poetic register that appeals to the senses. More than telling a single story, it aims to evoke and provoke many stories. So that later, at home, at school or in the library, the show can continue where the book leaves off. Between the book and the stage, in everyday life.