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Alice de Sousa wins award

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IN RECOGNITION of her work in championing Portuguese culture in London and her 25 year career as an actress, producer and writer Alice de Sousa, artistic director of the Greenwich Playhouse and Galleon Theatre Company and CEO of Galleon Films, was presented with an award.

The Gala, which took place on March 12, 2009, was organised by ‘Jornal As Noticias’ at Regent’s College London, and celebrated twelve individuals/organisations which had distinguished themselves in service to and representation of the considerable Portuguese community resident in Britain.

The well-attended ceremony was headed by the Portuguese Ambassador, the Portuguese Consul and by leading representatives of the Portuguese industry and community in Britain.

Alice de Sousa received her award in recognition for her numerous theatre productions which have introduced London audiences to unfairly neglected Portuguese literary masters, legends and true stories.

Over a decade and within an international and versatile repertoire of work, her projects have included The Pilgrim by Almeida Garrett; Cousin Basilio and The Maias by Eça de Queirós; The Heiress of the Cane Fields by Julio Dinis; The Crime of the Old Village by Bernardo Santareno; Thankfully there is Moonlight! by Sttau Monteiro; and two original stage plays written by herself: Inês de Castro and most recently, in January and February 2009, the hugely acclaimed and sell out world première of Aristides – the Outcast Hero.

As an actress, Ms. de Sousa has played leading roles in some thirty plays including Anne Boleyn in Anne of the Thousand Days; Hermione in The Winter’s Tale; Ophelia in Hamlet; Marina in Pericles; Elvira in Blithe Spirit; Millamant in The Way of the World; Celestina in Celestina (de Rojas); the Duchess in The Duchess of Malfi; Juliet in Romeo and Juliet; Lady Macbeth in Macbeth; Dona Madalena in The Pilgrim; Hedda in Hedda Gabler; Maria Eduarda in The Maias; Goneril in King Lear; Joana in the world première of her translation of The Crime of the Old Village; Matilde in her adaptation of Sttau Monteiro’s Thankfully there is Moonlight!; and for a second time the title role in Hedda Gabler.

As a producer, she has created over seventy internationally acclaimed professional theatre productions and as a writer for stage and screen has several successful scripts to her credit. She is currently developing four feature film projects for Galleon Films Ltd. The first, her own film adaptation and modern re-working of John Webster’s classic The Duchess of Malfi, is due to go into production shortly.

In 2009, as well as receiving the award at the Gala ‘Jornal as Noticias’, Ms. de Sousa was listed in the USA’s Presidential ‘Who’s Who’. In 2007, she was short listed for the illustrious ‘Prémio de Talento 2006’ award by the Portuguese Foreign Office, ‘Gabinete de Estado das Communidades Portuguesas’. In 2004, she received the American Biographical Institute’s ‘Great Women of the 21st Century award’; and in 2005 won the medal for ‘Woman of the Year 2005’ – awards that recognise the impact on society of the work of 1000 prolific women world wide. And in 2001 and 2005, she won the Arts Council Playwrights Bursary.