By Heart

  • Show
  • Theatre
The 2023 archive

Tiago Rodrigues

Portugal / Creation 2013

Going blind, Tiago Rodrigues’s grandmother looks for a final book to learn by heart. So was born By Heart, this essential show, created in 2013.

By Heart, Tiago Rodrigues, 2023 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


As you can see, there are ten empty chairs on the stage. I’d like for ten spectators to come sit on them. Before you accept my invitation enthusiastically, I need to add that those ten spectators will have to learn a text by heart. It’s a short text, not too difficult, but not too simple, either. It’s a manageable text. Those ten spectators won’t have to act. They won’t have to do anything in particular. Everything will be calm and normal.” For the past ten years, director and actor Tiago Rodrigues, newly-appointed director of the Festival d’Avignon, has offered with By Heart a heartrending show, the result of a request from his grandmother as she was going blind. Using a sonnet by William Shakespeare and the writings of George Steiner, Boris Pasternak or Ray Bradbury, the Portuguese artist offer a true dramatic manifesto to say the power of poetry through the creation of an unexpected community. Exploring the relationship between politics and literature, history and the personal, By Heart becomes a gesture of love likely to have a unique resonance in the Cour d’honneur.

By Heart by Tiago Rodrigues, translated by Thomas Resendes, is published by Les Solitaires Intempestifs.

Interview with Tiago Rodrigues


Written, directed and performed by Tiago Rodrigues
Translated by
Thomas Resendes
Extracts and quotations
from William Shakespeare, Ray Bradbury, George Steiner and Joseph Brodsky
Translation of Sonnet 30 by William Shakespeare F
rançoise Morvan
Scenography, costumes and props
Magda Bizarro
General Manager
André Pato
Sound Manager
Pedro Costa


Executive production Otto Productions, Théâtre Garonne Scène européenne de Toulouse
Based on an original creation by the company Mundo Perfeito
Coproduction O Espaço do Tempo, Maria Matos Teatro Municipal
With the support of Camões Centre culturel portugais à Paris for the 77th edition of the Festival d’Avignon
Support for creation Governo de Portugal - DGArtes
Production management Nicolas Roux (Otto productions)
Executive production of the original creation Magda Bizarro, Rita Mendes

Practical infos



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Our First times

  • Café des idées
With Fondation Crédit Coopératif, MAIF, Centres de jeunes et de séjours du Festival d'Avignon, Ceméa, Making Waves, Région Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Scènes d’enfance – Assitej

The 2023 archive