A DISTINCTIVE one-man show, POST, comes to Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre on Saturday 27th April. Performer Xavier de Sousa invites the audience to join him at his kitchen table for an evening of traditional Portuguese and an exploration of ideas of national identity.
The audience is served with traditional Portuguese food and potent Cachaça, creating a unique experience in which one can get merry, make new friends and examine what exactly makes a ‘nation’.
The food, prepared by Xavier de Sousa each night, is a traditional rural Portugal recipe called Caldo Verde (green broth or kale soup), which has deep roots in one of the poorest areas of the country, Minho. Made with kale and potatoes and originally from the north west, it has spread across the country over about 600 years and today could be called Portugal’s national dish. Also on the menu is Cachaça, a potent but sweet Brazilian spirit which is perfect to whet your appetite in time for the soup. The origins of the drink date back to the 1500s, during Portugal’s colonisation of Brazil, and is today the most popular national drink.
Exploring ‘national identity’ as both a theme and theatrical devise, the mixing of cultures, experiences and outlooks are key. Xavier plays host, genially bringing these subjects quite literally, to the table while encouraging his audience to enjoy the delicious Portuguese fare on offer.
POST considers what it is to exist in a country today and how we relate to each other reflecting upon experiences of people from different backgrounds who have made the UK their home. Xavier came to London 11 years ago and grew up listening to British bands. He says the show is his way of re-gaining some sense, some pride and joy in the world and lived experience that being a migrant provides you with.
“So I looked at my own personal history and the history of the countries that I inhabit and how they are composed. I wanted to create a show that utilises the act of ‘hosting’ and ‘welcoming’ as a performance method but also the collective representation of voices that provide distinct ways at looking at a nation”.
POST looks back through history and at specific traditions and identities that are part of both Portugal and England’s identity, deconstructs them and asks pertinent questions.