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The chocolate soldier

Production by A Portada Theatre Group

The term ‘a chocolate soldier’ refers to a professional soldier, dressed in a dashing uniform, but unwilling to fight. Originated by George Bernard Shaw in his comedy ‘Arms and the Man’, the play will be performed by A Portada Theatre Group at Teatro do Arade in Parchal and Cine-Teatro Loulé.

Captain Bluntschli is the ‘chocolate soldier’, a handsome Bulgarian officer who carries chocolates in his pocket rather than ammunition. The plot commences when – pursued by Serbian troops – he climbs through the bedroom window of a young Serbian woman. From this unlikely beginning, Shaw uses wit and humour to create a compelling script that is convincingly anti-war.

For more than a century, the play has been a huge success with audiences and critics. George Orwell, recognising that Shaw was at the height of his powers as a dramatist, remarked: “It is technically flawless and in spite of being a comedy, the most telling.”

Due to its success as a stage play, it was turned into an operetta by Oscar Straus and renamed ‘The Chocolate Soldier’.

A Portada’s new production of the play has a cast of seven, directed by Priscilla Morgan. It is extremely funny and beautifully costumed. The impressive stage set has been designed by Lesley Sweeney and will grace both theatres in Ferragudo and Loulé.

Teatro do Arade, on the main road into Ferragudo, forms part of the Centro de Congressos. It is a large complex funded by the municipalities of Lagoa, Portimão and Monchique. Despite its high quality facilities, it is rarely used by the English-speaking community. The play is an opportunity to see inside one of the grandest public buildings in the Algarve. On the dates when the play is to be performed a typical Portuguese Christmas Fair will be held in the adjoining congress rooms.

‘Arms and the Man’ performances:
Teatro do Arade, Ferragudo
Saturday, November 19 at 8pm
Sunday, November 20 at 3pm

Cine-Teatro Loulé
Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17 at 8pm

Adults €12/students €7 (suitable for children)

913 821 108 | [email protected]


Photo: The cast of ‘Arms and the Man’

Photo by: PETER KAIN