Ana Luisa Quintas was out buying duvets and pillows before we spoke the other week. A founding member of Brazilian theatre company Grupo Tripé, she was housing the rest of her group for their Dublin Fringe Festival run. By all accounts, it was a successful run.
Just getting accepted into the festival was an achievement in itself. The future of the company looked in doubt when Quintas moved to Dublin 18 months ago. But she promised that her leaving Brasilia would only lead to further opportunities for Grupo Tripé.
The two male friends who she started the troupe with in 2012 remained in Brasilia and only came to Europe for the first time when Quintas got the green light from the people working at Fringe. “I filled out Fringe applications and told them I was applying. When I got the answer, I was like ‘YES’,” she laughs. Within Rooms was first presented in 2014 and it has continued to run since then. Quintas stars in a play that she describes as being about relationships. “When we started the process of constructing the play, it was about love and how love is a cycle. Basically, it’s about relationships. There are four characters. We never say their names. We never say who they are. It can be anyone. It’s something that everyone will relate to. The good and strange, the bad and sad moments. It’s about relationships between young people because we’re really young.”
Invitations kept coming to perform Within Rooms after its initial run. An actress had to be hired to take the place of Quintas while she was in Dublin, studying for her Masters in Stage Design at the Lir. She most recently worked on Abbey Theatre play Katie Roche, assisting lighting director Paul Keogan. She’s settled in well in Dublin and that’s partly because the city has had an influx of Brazilians in recent years. The community is big enough to warrant a Portuguese-language play. This was effectively the first of its kind in Dublin, says Ana. “I knew a girl who did a Brazilian thing for Culture Night last year but plays in the Fringe, I don’t think this has happened before.”
Set in an apartment, the audience is watching the story of three people in a non-linear way. It’s the fragmented tale of a love triangle. There is a fourth character but he doesn’t interact with the others. He’s a musician and narrates the play through song. They’re all original songs.
It will have special significance to anyone from Quintas’s hometown. “Everyone who watches the play tells us ‘oh, this is so Brasilia’.” The play was obviously inspired by their experiences living there, it can be heard in the colloquialisms and slang in the dialogue stemming from Brasilia.
Brazilians have messaged her saying how excited they were to see a play in Portuguese. Perhaps this can get the ball rolling for further Portuguese-language plays in Dublin. “It would be great to start putting on shows in Europe. We have the script in English with subtitles. We don’t have the money yet. It’s a dream and I think everything starts like that.” To keep up to date with everything Grupo Tripé produce, like their Facebook page. Heck, like ours too. We’ve also got things to keep up to date with.