The theatre has always been my life and my death

Mário Viegas was, probably, the actor of his generation who best understood the importance of a National Theatre Museum. He was aware that the memories of the theatre and its history were an important patrimony to be entrusted to a Theatre Museum where the mementos of such an ephemeral art would be cherished and preserved.

 Fotografia de Mário Viegas no espectáculo 'Baal', Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, 1980Fotografia de Mário Viegas no espectáculo 'Deus os fez, Deus os juntou', Teatro da Comuna, 1988 (pormenor)

Planned and conceived around the valuable artistic heritage donated by the actor Mário Viegas (1948/1996) during his lifetime to the National Theatre Museum, as annotated by him (usually with a red pen) on the back of many of the objects and personal documents, as well as those lent temporarily by his family, this exhibition is, nevertheless, not a posthumous homage. Its intention is to portray this "comedian in life and on stage" to the public, show the heritage he donated and perpetuate his presence as a man and as an artist.
The idea for the exhibition was the result of a detailed study of all that he left us (photographs, letters, documents, interviews, the odd sentence and other material in the museum), and the reading of his (non-authorised) auto-photo-biography, and above all, what he always wanted to be as a man and as an artist.

Fotografia de Mário Viegas no espectáculo 'A última bandana de Krapp', Teatro Municipal S. Luiz (sala estúdio), 1993

The exhibition concentrates on the graphic treatment of the image, the writings and the ideas of the actor, presenting various objects that had a special meaning in his life.
Exhibiting simple pottery objects, to his typewriter, paintings, toys, manuscripts, stage costumes and props, sound and moving images, without any chronological or biographic narrative, this is not a photo exhibition or one that concentrates on objects, but rather a show built around these very personal objects, in an attempts to bring the public closer to the personality and the life of Mario Viegas, as the gifted actor that he was, as well as the reciter, director and citizen.

Given the inevitable subjectivity of the criteria used for a selection of this nature, regarding the selected texts, the images or the objects, it is possible that someone or something was omitted. Nevertheless, there was an effort to observe the greatest coherence between the value Mario Viegas himself lent to the exhibited photos, documents or objects together and of the exhibition’s options that are of an exclusively museological character.