Peter Vandenbempt

Um de nós

One of us

Um de nós (One of us) is a play with a strict, three-part structure. The first part consists of around 200 statements about politics, beginning with the words ‘In politics…’ followed by opinions, statements (more or less accurate), clichés and other supposed truths we glean from conversations in cafés, television or the internet. They appear to say something true about politics, but, at the same time, they are easy to refute. The accumulation of statements illustrates the complexity of the topic. 

The second part, which has an identical number of statements, begins with the words ‘In love…’. The declarations about love require us to look back at the first part from a new perspective. After politics and public life, we have moved on to amorous relationships. Both systems of relationship present similar problems, which is amusingly illustrated, as most of the statements about politics can also be applied to love. The greatest difference is the level of emotional involvement. 

In the third part, we are confronted with a collection of fait-divers, confessions and personal secrets from the actors themselves. We continue moving from the general to the specific: from politics, through personal relationships, to the individual. Each phrase in the third part thus begins with the words ‘One of us…’. 

The text is created in collaboration with the actors. The responses are genuine, but no one knows to whom each statement or confession belongs.


Peter Vandenbempt

Carlos Fernandes, Elisa Worm, Isabel Simões, João Silvestre, Júlia Guerra, Maria Helena Falé, Maria José Baião, Maria Emilia Castanheira

Staging assistant
Henrique Neves

Peter Vandenbempt in collaboration with the cast and Henrique Neves

Susana Canhoto
Translation support
Flemish Literature Fund
Emma Denis
Master carpenter
João Paulo Araújo
Patrícia Saramago
Bruno Simão
Producer from Companhia Maior
Luís Moreira
Production assistant
Lúcia Marta

Commissioned by
Maria Matos Teatro Municipal

Companhia Maior, Tristero and Maria Matos Teatro Municipal

Tristero is supported by Flemish Authorities – International Projects and Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie van het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest


Centro Cultural de Belém
Comuna Teatro de Pesquisa
Teatro Camões
Eficácia Livre


29 October – 2 November 2014
Maria Matos Teatro Municipal


24 March 2018
Auditório Municipal António Silva

Photos: © Bruno Simão

© Companhia Maior