João Garcia Miguel
We had just finished having supper. Opposite me sat my friend, the banker – a well-known capitalist and tycoon – absent-mindedly smoking his cigar. The conversation had been gradually petering out for some time and now lay defunct between us. I tried to revive it with an idea that had just surfaced in my mind. Smiling, I turned to him and said:
‘I know what I’ve been meaning to ask you. Someone told me a few days ago that you used to be an anarchist.’
This is how the famous “conto de raciocínio” (tale of reasoning), The Anarchist Banker, by Fernando Pessoa, begins. Here is what the director João Garcia Miguel says about his reading of the text and his desire to stage it: This text is a paradoxical emblem of freedom and war, which flits between reactionary strabismus and absurd radicalism. It strives to defend individualism taken to its extreme as a way of overcoming the limitations that the collective structures and social actions impose on us. At this particular moment in our collective history, its pertinence, its sense of humour and its awareness of the ridiculous, lead us to reflect on the paths that we allow others to choose for us and it raises the question of whether there is any way out at all.