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The Algarveans Newsletter Spring 2021

Friends and Members of The Algarveans Experimental Theatre Group
Well, as we all know and are constantly reminded by the media, it has been over a year since life was ‘normal’, but hopefully the end is in sight as lockdown rules across the country begin to ease and the only waves we discuss are those at the beach. Everyone has waited with bated breath for those key calendar dates that permit the reopening of gyms and golf courses, shops, restaurants and cafes, borders and travel and, of course, theatres. How theatre going will change under the new ‘normal’ remains to be seen. The Auditório Carlos Do Carmo in Lagoa is due to open on April 19th, so we hope it won’t be long before the Algarveans are able to rehearse together and book a date at the auditorium for a production.
The Ghost of Theatres Past
The Ghost of Theatres Past
Ghost of Theatres Future
The ghost of theatres yet to come?

The committee gathered recently on a Zoom meeting to discuss, among other things, the above and possibly to compare lockdown hair disasters. We hope to announce soon when The Algarveans can get back to the business of doing what they do best, namely putting on a show. Furthermore, it is hoped that the AGM will be held in June, when we will be able to meet in person again. Watch this space for an announcement regarding when and where.

Don't judge us, nobody looks their best during a Zoom meeting

For lack of any news, we asked the members of the committee what hobbies or activities if any they had taken up during the lockdown. Many on the committee have been helping out charities during this time of crisis; Frank Remiatte has been involved with Castello de Sonhos, Tracey Christiansen volunteers for Families in Need, and several of the ladies have picked up their crochet hooks, knitting or sewing needles and started a veritable production line of items to be donated to various charities.
The men, it seems, have turned to cooking their favourite comfort food, be it banana bread – yes, we know about it, Jim Landis, – or sourdough bread, – we’re looking at you, Frank (and Mike Wasinski), – or the perfect burger or roast – Alex Melo, we see you! As Frank says, between baking bread, muffins and cakes, it’s time for lockdown to be over and rehearsals for a show to begin!

With no costumes to sew, Lynda Marshall has been knitting for charity
Making cushions replaces tap dancing for Karen Morris-Marks
Alex Melo - 'And here's one I made earlier'

Meanwhile other committee members have taken the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, Angela Theobold has discovered the joys of the guitar, and Tracey Christiansen has rediscovered her old guitar under three decades of dust. Look out for their forthcoming duet of an Ed Sheeran song soon.

Angela and Tracey in the battle of the guitars, but apparently both banished to play outside only

Some members have welcomed the patter of tiny feet. Yes, Frank and Mike have welcomed a new addition to their family. Roxie – named, in part, after Roxie Hart from the musical Chicago – is a lively four-month-old Podengo who, like any toddler, needs constant attention, belly rubs and walks. This may explain why Frank looks slightly dazed during the Zoom meetings.

Frank and Mike with Roxie who clearly prefers to be photographed in profile

And Jim Landis, bereft of his usual golf game, has fallen under the spell of a tiny black ball of fur. Jim and Marie’s kitten is fittingly called Merlin and joins their other rescue cat. Jim and Marie have just moved into their newly purchased property, Guess they needed more room for their cats and Jim’s growing stamp collection.

Careful Jim, as Hemmingway said, 'One cat just leads to another.'

However, the lockdown efforts of the committee members pale in significance with one young member of The Algarveans who has been making great strides in the world of entertainment. Some of you may remember Afonso Silva from our 2019 production of The Wizard of OZ as one of our young Ozians and Munchkins. Afonso has spent the last few months competing in The Voice Kids – Portugal, bringing his signature Fado style to the stage. Frank asked Afonso about his experience on the show and what’s next for this talented young man.

Afonso Silva on the set of The Voice Kids

Q – When did auditions for The Voice Kids – Portugal begin?
Afonso – The process began on 30 January 2020 and the first audition was on 8 February 2020.
Q – How many kids were selected to compete in the show?         
Afonso –  Around a thousand signed up and hundreds were selected for the casting but only a hundred went through to the blind auditions (turning of the chairs). Sixty kids competed in the finals. I was one of the last sixteen in the competition.
Q – How long have you been singing Fado? Do you enjoy any other types of music?
Afonso – I started singing Fado at six years old. It’s a passion, but I also like other music styles, like pop and musical theatre.
Q – What was it like working with Carlão as your mentor? Did you get a chance to work with any of the other judges?
Afonso – Carlão was an amazing person and very professional. He was always close with the kids keeping them focused and happy. He really looked after us. Antônio Cruz and Isabel Campelo were the vocal coaches and they had an amazing impact on my development during the competition.

Afonso with Carlão

Q – Give us a little example of what the day-to-day activities included with the taping of the show.
Afonso – The day started by getting to the studio in the morning and trying on clothes for the day’s shoot. Then we recorded short interviews for the introductions. There was time working with the vocal coaches and rehearsal time with Carlão. On the first final day we had five rehearsals to sing with the wonderful Fado singer, Marisa. Plus, there was all the homework to prepare for the next day.

Q – With the Covid 19 rules in place, were you able to spend time with the other contestants?
Afonso – Yes, we were all together but had to use masks. And only one parent of each performer could be inside with them, also wearing masks and having regular temperature checks.

Q – What’s next for you with regards to performing?
Afonso – I’d like to perform in anything involving theatre and singing. My dream is to be in Filipe Lá Féria Músicals.

Q – We all loved having you in The Algarveans production of The Wizard of Oz in 2019. What are some of your favorite memories from that show?
Afonso –  I loved all the people, everyone was so helpful, easy to learn from and lovely to work with. It was my first major participation in a show and I loved the rehearsal process. I look forward to having another opportunity with The Algarveans. I am very thankful to you all.

Congratulations, Afonso, on your fantastic performances and success in the competition. We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavours.



It’s great to know that some youngsters like Afonso have fared so well during the lockdown. We hope all Algarvean members have remained safe and sane during this difficult time, and we look forward seeing you all again very soon.

Angela Theobold, Chair.


(Editor: Tracey Christiansen)