Tribute to Cucha Carvalheiro



She loves words because words have History!

She will be immortal in Theater because, as long as there is voice and memory, it will be for life!

She loves Theater because it is Time, it is the Present and it is the immediate emotion of those on the other side watching!

She would like to do more cinema, as Portuguese filmmakers would also like to do… much more often!

Everything would be much better if only good texts were represented! Playwrights? Screenwriters? She only likes the Big Ones!

The awareness of the dimension of injustice found her, during childhood in Benguela, through racism and relativism that words also contain.

She feels like a fish in the water when she makes high comedy, when texts allow her to create a game between laughing and crying.

She is the actress of presence, from “being there every day” to “hearing” the other as if it was the first time.

She is still the girl who danced in the air represented in the drawing found in a childhood chest and, perhaps for this reason, Pina Bausch is her favorite artist.

She doesn’t want to believe that she is one of the biggest names in Portuguese fiction and jokes about confusing prestige with syllables. She doesn’t take herself very seriously, but the cinematographic gaze of João César Monteiro, José Fonseca e Costa, Jorge Paixão da Costa, Fernando Silva, Margarida Gil, Rita Palma and Tiago Guedes built in her intense characters that are inevitably taken very seriously.

But she also breathes cinema in its most intense, exuberant and most creative dimension when she confesses that her favorite films are ‘Johnny Guitar’, by Nicholas Ray, ‘Amarcord’, by Federico Fellini, or ‘1900’, by Bernardo Bertolucci . She is the Woman Voice of so many characters that children adore and she loves them for recognizing her in this fantasy pact that we all know how to unravel from an early age.

And because Words are everything and because good texts are the pillar of her life, Cucha lives the literature of ‘Orlando’, by Virgínia Woolf; ‘The Alexandria Quartet’, by Lawrence Durrell, ‘Candide, or The Optimism’, by Voltaire; ‘The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis’, by José Saramago; and ‘Demian’ by Herman Hesse.”, among many, many others.

Adolfo Gutkin was the director who realized that she wanted to go on stage, discovered her own mysteries and Cucha discovered the magic of a vocation that makes her interpret texts by Feydeau, Eduardo De Filippo, Alan Ayckburn, Neil Simon, Sophocles, Euripides, Kleist, Nicolas Wright, Chekov, Tennessee Williams, Brian Friel, Jean Genet, among others.

She’s a WOMAN THEATER: Teatro do Mundo, Teatro do Século, Comuna, Companhia Teatral do Chiado or Escola de Mulheres-Oficina de Teatro.

In José Fonseca e Costa’s Víuva Rica Solteira Não Fica, Cucha Carvalheiro is Mariana, the mysterious, apparently subservient, with an insightful eye and subtly Machiavellian housekeeper who protects her little girl with a comfort shawl and a mortar where they crush crystals that will spice up, in a fatal and definitive way, the clam soups of her successive husbands.

As an ACTRESS, as a WOMAN, CUCHA CARVALHEIRO crushes, in the mortar of WORDS, THEATER, LITERATURE and CINEMA, all bigotry, all of those that confuse culture with business and all those who, even today, want to immerse us in ignorance and barbarism!




Anabela Oliveira

Assistant professor at the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro and researcher at Labcom. Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, she guides her scientific research in the scope of interartistic studies, namely in the relations between literature and cinema, literature and architecture, and also in the cinematography of Manoel de Oliveira, Fellini, and Jacques Tati.