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United Artists is looking for a home again  United Artists

United Artists is looking for a home again United Artists

“It's nothing really new; Rather, it is a repetition of what we previously announced two years ago.” Pedro Caraca, one of the directors of Artistas Unidos, in a statement to PÚBLICO, describes the current situation of the Lisbon company described in a statement released on Wednesday: “Artas Unidos finds themselves, once again, without work space and representation due to the expiration of the contract for the exploration mission [do Teatro da Politécnica] With the rectory of the University of Lisbon.”

This means that by July 31, Artistas Unidos will have to free up the space they have occupied since 2011 in the building at the entrance to the Lisbon Botanical Garden.

Two years ago, after negotiating the first deadline with the University of Lisbon, the company faced the prospect of losing that stage. But an agreement brokered by the Lisbon City Council (CML) guaranteed it to remain at the Politecnica Theater until mid-2024.

At that time, the municipality, already headed by Social Democrat Carlos Moedas – who recently took over the culture portfolio, after the dismissal of Councilor Diogo Moura (CDS-PP) – signed a commitment to go ahead with the rehabilitation of the building. Capitalin Bairro Alto, where Artistas Unidos will have its new headquarters, in the second half of this year.

“After these two years, the works have not yet started, and we still do not know what will happen,” points out Pedro Caraca, who highlights the “availability, dialogue and active effort” that CML continues to show to find a “dignified and stable” solution for the company. “We have not spoken with the president yet, but we have been in regular contact with the Culture Department,” adds the co-director of Artistas Unidos (a role he shares with João Meirelles and Antonio Simão).

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To PÚBLICO, Carlos Moedas' office confirms that CML “remains committed to resolving this process and finding a solution, agreed upon with Artistas Unidos, that allows the continuity of its work.” Progress to keep building Capital As a possibility to welcome the company. However, since the project of this property is still under implementation, [a Câmara] “I searched for solutions, even temporary ones, in other municipal spaces.” The municipality also expects that “the works could be completed in 2026.”

Next debut in Citemor

Also recognizing that a good solution may lasta capital – The building on Rua do Diário de Notícias, which owes its name to the fact that the Afternoon Club was founded there – Pedro Caraca warns that the most pressing problem must be solved. Especially since United Artists is obliged, as an entity supported by the Directorate General of Arts (DGA), to comply with their programming plan. And if they already have a theater for the premiere of the third part of the trilogy by Catalan playwright Pau Miró – yet Giraffes that it the blacknew creation, Buffalowill premiere on July 25 in Citemor (the Montemor-o-Velho festival will take place from July 19 to August 10) – but the same does not happen with the next production, Strong windBy Norwegian writer John Foss, winner of this year's Nobel Prize for Literature.

Also at stake is the replacement of the two previous pieces with Pau Miró, which was scheduled to be performed simultaneously Buffalo. Complete program that Teams have been appointed and expenses have already been paidhighlights the director.

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In this situation, the company's contract with the DGA “may be in doubt,” which could also lead to the “extinction of the company,” fears Pedro Caraca.

However, the director and director also add that both the DGA and the Ministry of Culture are aware of the Artistas Unidos situation, and that the office of Minister Delilah Rodríguez has contacted the department.

Open to any immediate solution, which again will certainly be temporary, Pedro Caraca says: “At the moment, any space between 250 and 300 square meters and a good ceiling height is suitable for the company.” “We don't even need to set up a stage; “This way we can prepare it as we want,” he adds.

It was founded in 1996, based on the group that had premiered the play the previous year, under the direction of Jorge Silva Mello (1948-2022). Antonio, a boy from LisbonArtistas Unidos has already occupied the building Capital Between that year and 2002, when he had to go to the Teatro Taborda (until 2005) and then to the Convento das Muñecas, before arriving at the Teatro da Politecnica, where in the last 13 years he has given 130 performances. It now remains to be seen what the new phase (and future) will hold for him.