Tomorrow in the Vale de Cambra, actor Antonio Capelo will stage a performance that will bring together 300 actors, technicians and artists from the local community to explore scenarios and memories of the emblematic dairy that closed in 2001. “Factory – Memories and Dreams” will consist of one exhibition and will take place in different outdoor areas of the former Martins & Rebello industrial complex, which in the middle of the twentieth century It employed 700 people at the same time, fed hundreds of families in this region of Aveiro, and produced products such as Vigormalte chocolate powder, Castelões cheese and Primor butter.
It is with more or less direct references to brands, machines, workers, routines, habits and even “small transgressions” from the heyday of the factory, between 1950 and 1970, António Capelo with his team from the Teatro do Bolhão and the corresponding ACE – School of Art – put together a show that, while based on historical research and testimonies from former workers, eschews documentary footage and favors “the imagination, the whimsical and the fantastic.”
“When we came to see the factory buildings, we realized that there were many restrictions and that we could not use the interior spaces as they were very degraded and not safe, but we soon saw the potential of the exterior areas and that it would be a very rich time travel. , through memories and through some wonderful aspects of the life and work of the people who walked here,” Antonio Capelo told Luce between instructions for technicians and translators.
“This is a very rich environment for traveling through time, through memories and through some wonderful aspects of the life and work of the people who once walked here,” emphasizes Antonio Capelo.
Pointing to the territory of the complex, the actor says that it was there, for example, that “people were groped when they left the factory to check if they had taken hidden cheeses home”; pointing to another area, he says that it was a machine and car workshop, because the company “was self-sufficient and itself guaranteed the maintenance of its equipment”; referring to the other corner, he calls it “the wall of shame” because it was here that the local boys sat during their shift change “to judge the girls and send them some jokes”.
António Neves, now 71, laughs at the memory, confirming that even young people from Aroc, Severa and Azemeis used to circle the area “to watch the cheese makers go by.” Antonio Neves is one of the residents of the Vale de Cambra who participate in the exhibition as a member of the Association for the Promotion and Development of Castelões and is delighted to see Martins & Rebello now with a dynamic reminiscent of that of its “time”. glory, when the movement was constant, the factory was a national standard and everything revolved around it.
Antonio Neves, who has worked in amateur theater for several years, suggests that this satisfaction is also influenced by the novelty of Antonio Capelo and his team directing it. “It’s on a different level,” he says, primarily because of the need, which he recognizes for the “great effort involved in coordinating so many people” and overseeing so many stages. Susana Paiva, a professional actress hired to help the actors on the project, has the same point of view, and it is for this reason that she claims that “the most important thing about these things is never the premiere, but the whole process in advance.” the “enrichment” that any performing arts agent has, whether professional or not.
Lia Silva is 17 years old and still taking a course in set design, costumes and props at ACE, but she also noticed it. In the pavilion where he irons clothes with colleagues who sew baroque wigs, finalize bourgeois costumes, paint posters of Primorye and stick LED lights on angel wings, he regrets that in the factory neighborhood there are no shopping streets full of shops for his moments of break, like in Porto, where he teaches, but he guarantees: “I really like this job because it is “real”, closer to professional reality. different age categories.
The show “A Fábrica – Memórias e Sonhos”, funded with 40 thousand euros by the initiative of ADRIMAG – the Association for the Integrated Development of Rural Areas of Serras do Montemuro, Arad and Graleira, is also held with the participation of INAC – the National Institute of the Circus and the various communities in Vale de – Cambra, whose elements were associated with the project, such as actors, dancers, musicians and even vendors, given that the presentation includes a procession with dancing and market stalls starting at 20:00..
Founded in 1901 in Lisbon and founded in Vale de Cambra in 1906, the Martins & Rebello factory has become the largest dairy farm in the Iberian Peninsula, establishing itself in the former Portuguese colonies and in Europe as a manufacturer of condensed, condensed milk and powdered milk. lactose, casein, various types of cheeses and dietary products. According to local historian Clara Wiede, the decline of the company began after April 25, when “it ceased to supply, for example, the army and state hospitals”, and “the monopoly on raw materials remained with the cooperatives”, which, together with other difficulties, contributed to the bankruptcy of the factory in the 1990s. and its final closure in 2001.