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Luiz Marinho

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Luiz Marinho

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Last update: 18/09/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

Luiz Marinho Falcão Filho was born in Timbaúba, Pernambuco, on 8 May 1926, to Luiz Marinho Falcão and Rosa Bezerril Falcão.

He learned to read and attended primary school in Timbaúba at the School of Donana, at teacher José Mendes da Silva’s Externato Timbaubense, and at Rui Barbosa College.     

At the age of 18, in 1944, he moved to Recife, where he attended secondary school at colleges Pedro Augusto and Carneiro Leão.

In 1945, he was hired as an employee at the Bank Caixa Econômica Federal and went to live in a boarding house on Aurora Street. He organised a musical group with some friends and begins to lead the life of a bohemian, deciding that he would also write plays.

After failing the entrance exam for medicine in 1960, he enrolled in the Dramatic Art Course at the School of Fine Arts, University of Recife, today the Federal University of Pernambuco – UFPE. Due to the schedule’s incompatibility with his job at the bank, however, he had to give up the course in 1962.

Also in 1960, he gave the play Um sábado em 30 (A Saturday in 1930) to Valdemar de Oliveira, which would become the most famous of his works and which is set in the city of Timbaúba in October 1930, the year that Getúlio Vargas came to power .

On 8 July 1963, the play was first staged by the Amateur Theatre Group of Pernambuco – TAP, at the Santa Isabel Theatre, and thereafter was performed several times with critical and commercial success in Recife and other Brazilian cities like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santos and Belo Horizonte, receiving numerous awards.

Elected to the Pernambuco Academy of Letters, he took office on 28 November 1980, assuming the chair of Joaquim Cardozo.

In addition to Um sábado em 30, Marinho wrote the following theatre plays: A derradeira ceia (The Last Supper); Uma história do mato (A History from the Bush), later renamed A afilhada de Nossa Senhora da Conceição (The Goddaughter of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception); A incelença (The Excellency); Da lapinha ao pastoril (From Nativity to ‘Pastoril’), later rewritten and renamed Viva o cordão encarnado (Hurrah the Red String) ; A valsa do diabo (The Devil's Waltz), O último trem para os igarapés (The Last Train to the Igarapés); A promessa (The Promise); Corpo corpóreo (Bodily Body), As três graças (The Three Graces).

He is also the author of three children's plays: A aventura do capitão Flúor (The Adventure of Captain Fluoride), A família Ratoplan (The Ratoplan Family) and Foi um dia (Once upon a day).

Luiz Marinho had four children, Francisco França Marinho (1962); Carolina França Marinho Falcão (1964); Joaquim França Marinho Falcão (1968) and Catarina França Marinho Falcão (1971).

His plays Viva o cordão encarnado and A incelença also received several awards in Pernambuco and Brazil.

He died on 3 February 2002, at the Santa Joana Hospital in Recife, from cancer of the bladder.

His body was kept in state at the Pernambuco Academy of Letters and buried the same day, in the Santo Amaro Cemetery.

Through his plays, Luiz Marinho led the rich folklore of Northeast Brazil to the theatre.

Recife, 16 November 2004.
(Updated on 31 August 2009)
Translated by Peter Leamy, March 2012.

sources consulted

VIEIRA, Anco Márcio Tenório. Luiz Marinho: o sábado que não entardece. Recife: Fundação de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 2004. (Coleção Malungo, v.10).

how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Luiz Marinho. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009