The Ascensor da Bica runs through the Lisbon neighbourhood of Misericórdia, offering arguably the most scenic rides of all the city’s funiculars. It is here, in this quite traditional parish full of salt-of-the-earth-types, that Edgar Pêra’s breakthrough work is set: a rustic, fado-driven musical comedy – done the avant-garde way.
A janela (Maryalva mix) tells the story of Antonio, an old school Marialva (= a womanizer and barfly cruising the Fado taverns and back-alleys of Mouraria) who seems not to have noticed that his type is history – but why would he care, if the half dozen ladies he’s bedding don’t seem to mind? Now, Antonio is played by six actors, while a single comedienne plays all his paramours. No wonder then that A janela (Maryalva mix) is ripe with identity crises of all kinds: cultural, sexual, purely personal – you name it, they act it out. What chaos! What delight! What laughs! And such saudade.