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"Hello Mario! Very good work. Loved it! I saw the whole video. Its good quality even on my old Mac. I am most impressed that you filmed it before the Premier. It looked very together. Congratulate everyone!"

Nola Rae - Actriz



“To those who sometimes are irritated with theatre because there’s nothing going on or because everything is very much alike, that is, old, here comes some good news. They come from Santo André, they are the GATO, and they bring us a brilliant performance of physical theatre. It moves us, it marvels us, and it speeds up our imagination. Congratulations to the director, he’s Colombian, to Mário Primo, and to the actors who are superb. Ah, and there seems to be a technician who is able to work magic.”


Carlos Fragateiro

Former Director of D. Maria II National Theatre

​“It’s just finished. Very good. After a very boring performance last evening, VAI VEM is the best way to make peace with the theatre again. VAI VEM stays in our memory. Thank you.”


Rui Sérgio

Director of Trindade Theatre



 “An extremely beautiful performance, a very realistic piece of poetry – the people, the things, the elements, the emotions, the scary moments, the defeats, the hopes, the fight and the light. We can feel all this in a very imaginative creation rendered by a group of actors with a very high-quality physical technique and enormous expressiveness. A wonderful surprise. No one should miss it.”

Hélder Costa

Director and playwright



“The non-verbal performance Vai Vem is a visually rich and a beautifully told story - told with no words. Costumes, lights, soundtrack and four actors weave together actions into associative scenes that inspire the spectator to find the narrative in images about people sending and receiving messages, leaving, travelling, meeting, dreaming, looking and finding. The soundtrack is rich and functions at times as a fifth actor. The lights are beautiful and exact. The actors in some scenes are simply amazing. Some characters are down-to-earth, some are noble with an attitude. This is poetry on stage. The final montage is done by the audience – we are invited to read the scenes our way, associate, understand – or just enjoy the visual, the rhythms, the symphony created by the stage language. Everything is well worked and gives a sense of trust in the quality of the performance.”

 Idalotta Backman

Actress of non-verbal theatre


Poucos são os espectáculos a que adiro de forma impudicamente irracional. Este conheci-o numa versão youtube e tive a oportunidade de dizer que era um espectáculo de nível mundial. Em qualquer lugar honraria todos aqueles que o faziam e o país de onde vinha. Este belíssimo espectáculo que saboreei agora ao vivo foi vibrante. Houve uma química, uma magia, uma comunhão entre actores e espectadores que não é muito frequente. A forma como "casa" os seus elementos estéticos e narrativos, é de molde a transportar os nossos sentidos para uma viagem onde cada personagem "embarca" com os seus parcos bens materiais, metáforas de desejos, esperanças, desilusões, e nos convida a partilhá-los emocionalmente. A música (belíssima) não está ali para superar o silêncio mas para, no seu minimalismo, ajudar-nos na comoção dessa "viagem perdida", ou não. Actores de diferentes grupos etários e formação, empunham o testemunho da arte maior que é dar tudo em cada sílaba que o corpo, o rosto, o gesto "pronunciam". Sem gratuidades, mas efabulando o nosso imaginário de emoções e comoções. Fotografei-lhes as expressões que ilustram bem o que afirmo.

Victor Horta -  Professor

 “Alentejo has come to Lisbon. But this time it hasn’t come alone, it has brought the magic of Colombia in a performance directed by Juan Carlos Agudelo Plata. The beauty is everywhere. The light and the shadow that create fantastic images, the charming music, and the work of the actors who make it all seem so easy and natural. The love for the art, for the ability of feeling and make the others feel these sensations, disquiet, and emotions; this is the image of the GATO SA. VAI VEM is about the departure, the arrival, the wait, the hope. To look at the play, to watch it and to feel it was, for me, a personal journey. All I can say is that in my oopinion the performance is very beautiful and we rarely have the change of watching a play like this.”

Eduardo Frazão 




 “In the name of those who aren’t here, of those who live in this world, of those who don’t have a land, who are forced out of their home, of the immigrants. In the name of the Syrian mothers, of the Africans who came to the big cities searching for the gold that was stolen from them. VAI VEM is that silent cry of hundreds of sailors who arrived to other lands and couldn’t go back home, back to their roots. And still… lots of light. I share with you the responsibility of going around the world changing other small worlds as we should do.”

Abi Bermudez



“Lo peor no fue que nos arrojaran del paraíso lo

másgrave es que deseemos regresar a él.”


Estanislao Zuleta




"A man, a reason, a place and the journey begins."

The route? Unknown.

Does it matter? Maybe not.

The story of fate so often repeated, and even if it is familiar, the questions, desires, and dreams are different.

Four characters, their stories, a shipwreck and the high sea. Finding love, escaping the past, escaping duty and finding a place where one can sow again, all motivate these beings to make the decision and leave; they who, without return tickets, crash into an immense ocean. An uncertain journey, unfinished and infinite, appears suspended in a scene through minimal reports that remind us of Man, so familiar and enigmatic, as peculiar as strange, as migrant as static.

Vai Vem is a visual journey where the body and silence are the protagonists. Inspired by migration as a visual territory and physical theater as a narrative tool, the play presents the characters as timeless shadows that roam through their stories and, like a kaleidoscope, tell us about detachments, illusion, human voids and fears, the loneliness, love, life and the impulses that make us leave.


The show was deliberately conceived in a universal language, without the use of spoken language, so as to make it possible to present it outside the country.

The project arose following the Physical and Gestual Theater Workshops held in Santo André in 2012 and 2014, under the direction of the Colombian actor Juan Carlos Agudelo Plata and the presentation of two theatrical works of the CASA DEL SILENCIO of Bogotá, company of which he is the director . The two shows, "Woyzeck" and "Kokoro" surprised by the quality and rigor of the physical work of the actors, based on the techniques of Étienne Decroux and the experience of a decade of work of Carlos Agudelo with Marcel Marceau.

As a methodology we worked from physical actions and stylized personal routines, supported by the basic components of the Decroux technique: dynamo rhythms, marches and figures. The process to be applied in this work started from a laboratory of creation to explore the different corporal possibilities, the expressiveness and the capacity of synthesis that the physical language potters, in view of an approximation to territories of a nonrealistic imaginary.




Juan Carlos Agudelo Plata



Ángela Valderrama



Helena Rosa

Marina Leonardo

Raul Oliveira

Tomás Porto


General Assistant

Mário Primo



Rui Senos


Sound Design

Jorge Oliveira


Multimedia Animations

Rui Senos

Nuno Cintrão



Mário Primo


Props and Costumes



Graphic Designer 

Pedro Dias



José Mónica

Paulo Chaves



JVZ Audiovisuais





Text of Ángela Valderrama


 VAI VEM arises from a restlessness for the migration, individual and collective, that human need for movement, for losing the balance and destabilize those safe places, searching for hidden paths, or walking the same old ones or even stay still while becoming aware of a decision. The dramaturgic proposal starts from the premise of open narrative universes. Far from wanting to tell from genesis to the apocalypse in an hour, VAI VEM is an invitation to briefly enter into the intimate universe of 4 characters that, after a decision, end up sharing a space, a boat. The starting point is the same as the arrival: a shipwreck. And at the end, miles of questioning: Is it all still the same? Are they going to survive? Are they going to find love? Are they solving their problems? Are they entering an oneiric state?

So, where are we going to find the answers, if the dramaturgic structure doesn’t intend to give us any certainties? There, our narrative possibility is open. A narrative that, since the beginning of the creative process, is a pretext, first to the actors and the creative group, who as always have more questions than answers, but who end up using their own autobiographic or imaginary universes to build each one of the pieces that together form what the audience will see: a play. But this is also a narrative which, as a pretext text, offers the spectator the possibility of building the story and ending it or not, of course.

Why did we choose this option, perhaps an option that questions ourselves as creators of a work of art? A scenic creation about which we can never say it is finished, because as we go back, again and again, we always find new possibilities of construction and deconstruction. This way, Casa del Silencio conjugates in the present the dramaturgic commitment with the language of silence and of physical and gesture theatre. This theatrical language can play with oneiric universes very well; universes which we can question either for their reality and concrete materiality or for the beauty of the dream or the bizarre of the nightmares. VAI VEM is a journey, ours, yours, the journey of any human being who might find in it a question about his own steps and movements.

Ángela Valderrama



Since 1988, GATO SA Theatre Group has been working in research and experimentation activities, as well as in actors training, public formation and theatrical creation and promotion. From this intense activity arose AJAGATO in 1999, with two main projects: the International Theatre Festival of Santo André and the cultural magazine Cena’s.

GATO SA has created 34 theatrical productions and 15 other works in partnership with other groups. Several actors started their training in this group before pursuing advanced studies elsewhere and they now integrate professional projects, such as VAI VEM.

In 1994 GATO was awarded the first prize in the III Festival of Vicentine Theatre, promoted by the theatre company A BARRACA, from Lisbon, and it was also distinguished by the Portuguese Presidency for its work in 1998.  The local city councils also awarded medals of merit to GATO SA and AJAGATO in 1991, 2009 and 2012.


Mário Primo

Mário Primo, director of GATO SA. He was born in 1951 and studied Architecture from 1970 to 1974 in Escola Superior de Belas Artes, in Lisbon. In 2010 he concluded a post-graduation in Theatre at University of Évora.

He is a teacher in a junior high school since 1975. He dedicates himself to the theatre in the school and has studied with Joaquim Benite, João Mota, Gisèle Barret, Malcom Ross, Steve Johnston, Howard Sonenklar, Ricardo Puceti, Nola Rae, Renato Ferracini, among others. Since 1983 he has been teaching theatre in schools and he is a trainer of Dramatic Expression.

He founded the theatre group GATO SA in 1988 and he has created more than thirty productions since then. Since 1989 he is the President of AJAGATO and he is also the founder and director of the International Theatre Festival of Santo André.

Juan Carlos Agudelo Plata


He started his training in the Instituto Popular de Cultura de Cali, in 1981. Then he studied in the International School of Mime in Paris, where he became a disciple of the master Marcel Marceau. He was part of the MARCEAU theatre company for more than 8 years.

Juan Carlos Agudelo has diffused the technique of the dramatic corporal mime of Etienne Decroux in Colombia. Training teacher of dancers and actors in the main theatre universities of Colombia, he has also taught and directed creative productions in several countries, such as Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama and Portugal. He is the founder and artistic director of CASA DEL SILENCIO, a pioneer theatre company of physical and gesture theatre in Colombia, and he has directed more than 20 productions of text theatre, physical theatre, circus and contemporary dance. He was awarded as director by IDARTES, with his creation project “La Celebración un gesto de deseo”. His most recent productions are “Kokoro” and “Grises” with CASA DEL SILENCIO, and “VAI VEM” as invited director with GATO SA, in Portugal. His most important productions are: “La Kermesse”, “La Casa de Bernarda Alba”, “Bodas de Sangre”, “Entre Mortales”, “Woyzekc”, “Carmina Burana” and “KOKORO”, among others.



Helena Rosa

Helena Rosa was born in 1972 and started her theatrical career in Santo André with GATO SA. She has a degree in Theatre by the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema, in Lisbon. She has worked with Carlos Avilez, who directed her first professional play in D. Maria II National Theatre, Mário Primo, director of GATO SA, Rui Matos, João Mota, João Brites, Águeda Sena, Glicínia Quartin, Madalena Vitorino, Luis Cruz, Steve Jonhston, André Gago, Leonardo Brizzi, Maria Cassi, Nola Era, among others.

Recently she has worked with Juan Carlos Agudelo Plata, director of CASA DEL SILENCIO, in her first physical theatre performance.



Marina Leonardo

Marina Leonardo was born in Évora in 1993. She studied Theatre in University of Évora and physical and gesture theatre in Institut del Teatre in Barcelona. In her career she has worked with João Grosso, Cristina Carvalhal, Stéphane Lévy (director of the school MOVEO – Mimo Corporal Dramático), Juanjo Cuesta (a specialist in the technique of Philippe Gaulier) and Maria Codinach. Recently she has worked with Juan Carlos Agudelo Plata, director of CASA DEL SILENCIO.


Raul Oliveira

Raul Oliveira was born in 1974 and graduated in Theatre in the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema, in Lisbon, in 2007, after a degree in Sociology in 1997. He has complemented his training with Juan Carlos Agudelo Plata (Casa del Silencio); Nuno Pino Custódio; Jean Paul Bucchieri; Renato Ferracini (Teatro Lume); Howard Sonencklar; Agnés Limbos; Paulo Lisboa (Compania Absurda). From 2002 until 2010 he was a theatre trainer in Colégio Guadalupe in Verdizela. He participated in several productions of GATO SA, where he started his theatre training. He is co-founder of TRUTA Theatre Company. As actor he was directed by Luis Cruz,  Tiago Rodrigues, Tonan Quito, Joaquim Horta, João Mota, Antonio Catalano (Casa degli Alfieri – Italy – CCB Lisboa), Laetizia Quintavalla (Teatro delle Britioli – Italy – CCB Lisboa), Pherraille (Le Phun – France – CCB Lisboa). He has worked on TV productions with Edgar Pêra and Fabrizio Costa and has already participated in several TV series and soap operas.


Tomás Porto

Tomás Porto was born in Lisbon on 13th July 1992. He graduated in Theatre at University of Évora. Since then he has worked with João Grosso, Fernanda Lapa e Natália Luiza Figueiredo. He has trained with Juan Carlos Agudelo Plata (Casa del Silencio), Carlos Simioni, Renato Ferracini and Ricardo Puccetti (Lume Teatro). He is currently studying in the International School of Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris.




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