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In A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, Roland Barthes focuses on eighty figures – eighty linguistic scenes that make up the lover’s discourse. These are not isolated words, but language storms that abruptly assault the lover. It’s the lover’s discourse in action or, in Barthes’ own words, it’s “the lover at work”. 

L-O-V-E draws on this map/labyrinth to attempt a configuration of the lover’s discourse, or several configurations that consecutively destroy each other. A process of trial and error that ultimately leads to the destruction of speech, latency in the body, and even silence. Like in love stories. 

Exhausted by literature, music and cinema, discredited by contemporary thought and experimental artistic creation, the lover’s discourse oscillates between its vocation as a major existential paradigm and its vulgarization due to endless repetition. We are all looking for the love portrayed in great novels, but can we still say “I love you” without it being a quote? 

L-O-V-E tries. Just as Barthes tries to portray the lover in his (inglorious?) effort to make sense. Discursive acrobatics. 

(Alfredo Martins)


original idea and performance Paula Diogo co-creation Alfredo Martins and Paula Diogo stage design F. Ribeiro light design Daniel Worm sound design Gui Garrido dramaturgical support Linda Dalisi/IT photography Luís Martins production Má-Criação 

financial support Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation – Gulbenkian Program for Portuguese Language and Culture – Creative Support partners ZDB, O Espaço do Tempo, Mala Voadora, Alkantara


NEGÓCIO/ZDB, Lisbon PT, July 2015


mala voadora, Oporto PT, July 2015

Matucana 100, Santiago CL, July 2017

Teatro Auditorium, Mar del Plata AR, July 2017

Teatro do Instituto Cultural Brasil-Alemanha, Salvador da Bahia BR, August 2017

Festival Y, Castelo Branco PT, October 2019