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Imagine a Brazilian Lewis Caroll on acid narrating an epic saga of a hero without morals!

THE MACUNAÍMA CYCLE has been created with the association of South Hill Park Bracknell, Festival Encuentros Latinoamericanos, The Little Angel Theatre, Oval House Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith. With the kind support of Arts Council England and the Brazilian Embassy in London.

​This project is still in development. It has had six lives so far and it might have a seventh soon…

Based on Mário de Andrade’s seminal 1928 novel Macunaíma- o herói sem nenhum caráter. Since July 2006 we have been developing THE MACUNAÍMA CYCLE through a series of workshops & public events and various months of intensive research in different fields and with different collaborators. Our aim is to investigate how to adapt this iconic Brazilian Modernist novel from the 1920s to a contemporary context involving different artists, institutions and artforms, and how to feed directly from our educational work into our artistic process.

Mário de Andrade’s seminal 1928 novel Macunaíma- o herói sem nenhum caráter is Brazil’s greatest 20th century epic and a touchstone of the Brazilian Modernist movement. It was adapted into a film by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade in 1969 and is seen as a satirical view on Brazilian society and morals.

There have been 6 R&D's so far...


R&D1 - August 2006: Outlining the Story. Festival Encuentros Latinoamericanos in Balham, South London

Three actors, One director and No props. We worked towards outlining this epic.

R&D2 - 2- 7 April 2007 : Young People’s Approach. Wilde Theatre, South Hill Park in Bracknell, Berkshire

Working with a group of young people aged 8 to 14 we presented The Adventures of Macunaímat hrough their perspectives on the epic, using different media, including digital animation and puppetry.

R&D3 - 16 - 21 July 2007: Visuals: Puppetry. Incubate Season @The Little Angel Theatre in Islington, London

Our research continued, and it led us to working with puppetry through a collaboration with The Little Angel Theatre and the Brazilian visual artist Samuel Guimarães who flew from Brazil to work with us. We paired him with a British puppet maker, Andy Jones. They worked in transforming Guimarães’ sculptures into puppets as a group of actors experimented with bringing them to life.

R&D4 - 6 - 11 August 2007: Visuals: Digital Animation & Projections. South Hill Park in Bracknell, Berkshire.

Dende went high tech for the first time. We played with different ideas on how to use projections and digital animation to tell the story. At times we had five projectors working simultaneously!

R&D5 - 8 December 2007: Writing and Sharing the Story. First Bites - Oval House, London

We brought together elements from the four previous R&D sessions and formed a framework for future development. For the first time we told the story in its enterity using the first draft of a script by Montse Gili. The show was performed as a promenade using the entirety of Oval House (cafe area, staircases, two theatres and dance studio).

R&D6 - 12, 13 and 14 June 2008:  The Modernists. Lyrics First - Lyric Hammersmith, London

We further developed the work and this time we explored the historical context, the very exciting artists that under the banner of the Modernist movement revolucionised Brazilian Art forever. Why was Macunaíma writen and who really was the writer behind it?


Macunaíma, a native Brazilian from the Amazon, was born black and fully-grown amongst his red-skinned people, becomes white and blond and finally black again; his transformations symbolising all the races that constitute the Brazilian people. We follow the misadventures of Macunaíma from miraculous birth to death, especially as he chases after his lost amulet, given to him by the queen of the Amazons before she became a star. He takes us on fantastic journeys through rivers, jungles, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, all Brazil. With him we encounter a shrewd Peruvian entrepreneur (who in reality is a cannibal giant), collect swear words, sail with the Sun and discover how the Moon was created. Through it all, our scoundrel-hero remains staunchly irreverent and immoral, leaving his conscience behind when he could, a true champion of hedonistic carnal pleasures. Mário de Andrade weaves native Brazilian tales, myths and folklore from different regions with his own imagination and elements from European avant-garde to produce a unique novel that had an influential impact in Brazilian culture (Tropicalismo, Caetano Veloso, Cinema Novo, Hélio Oiticica etc).


Mário de Andrade (1893-1945) was a Brazilian poet, novelist, musicologist, art historian and critic, and photographer. One of the founders of Brazilian modernism, he virtually created modern Brazilian poetry with the publication of Paulicéia Desvairada (Hallucinated City) in 1922. He has had an enormous influence on Brazilian literature in the 20th and 21st centuries, and as a scholar and essayist - he was a pioneer of the field of ethnomusicology - his influence has reached far beyond Brazil. After working as a music professor and newspaper columnist he published his great novel, Macunaíma, in 1928.




R&D1 - Festival Encuentros Latinoamericanos, South London - August 2006

Directed by André Pink

Text devised by the company

Performed by Montse Gili, Danny Machancoses and Mark Reid


R&D2 - South Hill Park, Bracknell - April 2007

Directed by André Pink 

Text devised by the young company and Montserrat Gilli

Animations by the young company and Kim Nocce

Sets, Costumes and Puppets by the young company and Alex Evans

Performed by  Abby, Beth, Callum, Charlotte, Connor, George, Jack, Katie, Laura, Lucy and Sophie


R&D3 -The Little Angel, London - July 2007 

Creative Leader André Pink

Puppet Makers Samuel Guimarães and Andy Jones

Puppeteers/ Actors/ Devisors Bob Karper, Cariad Astles, Danny Machancoses, Iara Solano, Mark Reid, Mohsen Nouri, Montserrat Gili, Sammy Metcalfe and Ruth Burgess


R&D4 -South Hill Park, Bracknell - August 2007 

Creative Leader André Pink

Projections Specialist Kate

Animations Kevin Rowe

Visual Artist Samuel Guimarães

Actors/ Devisors Danny Machancoses, Mark Reid and Montserrat Gili


R&D5 - Oval House Theatre, London - December 2007 

Directed by André Pink

Text by Montserrat Gili

Lights by Pablo Fernandez Baz

Projections by Thorsten

Animations by Kevin Rowe

Set, Costumes and Puppets by Samuel Guimarães

Stage Manager Thiago de Llorti

Performed by Agnes Brekke, Bob Karper, Catherine Mobley, Chand Martinez, Daniel Machancoses, Montserrat Gili, Nicholai Labarrie and Pushpinder Chani


R&D6 - Lyric Hammersmith, London - June 2008

Directed by André Pink

Writing team

Text devised by the company, written by Montserrat Gili

Script Advsior Noel Greig

Guest Playwright Toby Clark

Lighting by George Ogilvie

Produced by Dende Collective

Assistant Producer Emmy Alin

Set and Puppets by Samuel Guimarães

Stage Manager Chris Hill

Performed by Philip Beaven,  Agnes Brekke, Charlie Folurunsho, Montserrat Gili, Bob Karper, Daniel Machancoses, Verana Meneses, Sammy Metcalfe, Catherine Mobley, Akiko Sato and Iara Solano