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“Discovering Portugal is a terrible experience because I don’t want to go home”

Fábio Porchat is enthusiastic about Portugal. For the first time, the Brazilian comedian of the Porta dos Fundos collective has the opportunity to get to know our country beyond Lisbon and Porto. Since November he has been preparing a documentary for RTP here, tracing the steps taken by José Saramago in the book “Viagem a Portugal”.

The six-episode production, which is still filming, is scheduled to premiere in October. In addition, Porchat took the opportunity to debut his new stand-up comedy show, simply called “O Novo Stand Up de Fábio Porchat”, in the national theaters.

On Saturday, February 5th, the debut took place at the Super Bock Arena – Pavilhão Rosa Mota in Porto. The tour continues through Coimbra (February 12, Convento de São Francisco), Aveiro (February 13, Teatro Aveirense), Albufeira (February 16, Palácio de Congressos do Algarve) and Lisbon (February 18, Campo Pequeno). Tickets are still available online.

Read the NiT interview with Fábio Porchat about the show and the documentary.

For those who know your comedic journey but don’t know what your new show will be like, how would you describe it?
Whenever I do a stand up show, I like to share my experiences. In this one I join those I’ve experienced on my travels: from places I’ve been, from the crazy things that have happened to me, sometimes tense, funny, chaotic things. I’m talking about a safari in Africa to a massage in India. All of this happened to me. Of course I report everything with a good-natured look, with a funny magnifying glass. The idea is that the people who are going to be watching will laugh and maybe think, “I’m glad it wasn’t me”.

Does it tell stories from Portugal?
Some. I start by talking about Portugal, my relationship with the country and situations that happened to me here.

When did you start preparing this show and how did the idea of ​​collecting these stories come about?
I decided that in 2022 I would do stand-up again. I stopped doing that in 2017 and started writing this text in the middle of last year. They were separate stories that I wanted to piece together to see how they fit together. And also because, although the pandemic is not over, we are at least vaccinated now. It was two very difficult years, especially in Brazil where we lost a lot of people. We fought a very tough President. I thought maybe it would be a good year to make people laugh so they can meet and laugh again. And so, for a while, maybe even an hour, they can forget how crazy the world is out here.

Laughter and humor are most in demand during these times.
Yes, we became very aware of that during the pandemic. How much we need content, cultural products, how important it is to have someone to entertain us. With everyone at home and a little desperate, with a lot of desire to watch, watch and consume. This is a good time to get up. I’m going to debut in Brazil in April and since I’m here – I came in November and now in February to record the documentary for RTP “Viagem a Portugal” – I thought: why not tour Portugal? After all, I’ve performed in Lisbon and Porto, but I’ve never been there.

And so you can also get to know other regions of Portugal and maybe even collect a few travel stories.
That’s it [risos].

Did the idea of ​​compiling travel stories come about by chance?
I thought of funny stories and good experiences for a standup text. I started writing separately, without any connection, and I realized that all the stories were related to travel in some way. So at the end of the day, there was a common thread, and that’s great. Of course I can say what I want: I’ll talk about my hatred of clothing labels. But in general, travel always results in content being generated.

And which documentary will it be that you are preparing for RTP?
I started in Miranda do Douro in November. We spent 25 days traveling around Portugal and now I’m at the end again. There are six episodes that will air on RTP from October. It’s one a week, hour-long episodes. The idea is to retrace the steps of Saramago found in the book “Viagem a Portugal”. Try to visit as many places as possible and experience the locals, understand what this Portugal is, what has changed in over 40 years? What was the place that Saramago visited and what is it like today? I met up with some people who met Saramago, I ate in the same restaurants, ordered the same dish, drank the same wine… I went to places he went. We try to visit all these places and understand what is special or strange about them. I even went to Nazaré to surf, but of course Saramago didn’t surf [risos]. I went to do what the Nazarenes are doing today. Of course it has humor, but it’s not a comedy show. It’s a great voyage of discovery of this Portugal, so big and complete.

What was it like learning more about Portugal and following in Saramago’s footsteps?
It’s a horrible experience because I don’t want to go home. [risos]. I want to stay. All Brazilians who come here as if fleeing a plague from Egypt end up fleeing the violence. But when you really get to know the country, the places and stop saying “Portugal is great because the food is good and there is no violence”… Yes, that’s wonderful, but you can find these things in Italy or France too. Does Portugal have too much? I discovered it on these trips. I understand better the Portuguese who are receptive, loving and friendly. Cities have their own specific beauty. The story that every person here in Portugal carries within them. I have discovered a truly magical place to live.

Was there anything that has surprised you the most so far?
Lots of things – and I had never heard of them. Like the Bussaco forest. I had never heard of it, but I got there and was hooked. Almeida? I had never heard of it. The rocks at Monsanto are insane. The village of Romeu, which now has 14 inhabitants… I could spend an hour talking about all the places in Portugal that have enchanted me. Because there are many charming nooks and crannies.

With all these reasons for living in Portugal, do you also want to move one day?
Before Portugal became a fad among Brazilians, I already said that I wanted to live here. I still have this dream and this wish, but I think it will happen later. I still need to have kids, settle down a bit more, grow more in Brazil. But I really want to because I have work here. Not only in the theater, but also on television. So yeah, I’m thinking a lot about coming here. I don’t want to be just one of them coming here – I want to bring something good to Portugal.

Some pictures of Fábio were shared with Portuguese actor Tiago Castro. Were you part of the documentary film?
Yes, we’ve had guest appearances, from journalists to singers to comedians. We met, sometimes talked, sometimes made scenes. It was a very funny scene with him [risos].

Do you think doing stand-up for the Portuguese audience is different than doing it for the Brazilian audience?
That’s what I thought before I did it for the first time. I thought the culture was totally different, the reality is totally different, so the jokes would probably have a different impact. I was very happy that the Portuguese audience welcomed me very well, also because of Porta dos Fundos. So I’m not afraid to do a show here because of the audience. It scares me because it’s a new show that I’ve never done before and it will be my first time. But I feel like there was no better place to make a debut than Portugal. I’ll be in the best of all worlds.

And never tested the jokes that are part of the show?
Some of them will be absolute firsts. I do it in clubs, I test it in small rooms and among friends – I tell it, pretend it’s a normal story and I feel the receptivity of the comments. Some of them worked at bar tables, it remains to be seen if they will work for 4,800 people in Porto, where I will start the tour [risos].


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