Amleto take away

The ‘stage keeper’ asks the audience if they are ready. ‘Yes?’ ‘Good. Let’s start.’

Out of the dark a small set of red curtains gives frame to a crucified-like young man in a white monastic shirt.

‘I do suffer, though I dream
Because of this, I do live.
In the act of dreaming,
I do dive into ‘what I have inside’
That I see, even if it does not really live;
That I loose, if the day after, it turns into real.
Also, I do search for ‘who I am’,
‘who I fake to be’, ‘where I hide’,
In the act of dreaming, I do soothe the pain,
It is the only real sensation.
Life, in the end, is what, — in it, we do imagine:’

The ‘little scene in the scene’ moves towards the centre of the stage as the monologue proceeds, while an accordion, or a pianola, leads the pregnant words introducing Amleto Take Away whose meaning does not echo ‘a Shakespearean meal to have at home’, but rather the question: ‘What do you want Hamlet?’ in the Bari parlance: Amleto-te-ce-uè?

Nothing more than what we feel, we have,
And this is where the reality of our living
Lies upon, not on what we see.
‘I do suffer, dream, feel, and I am alive, different each day.
This, is what is worth to be or to have,
so that we can be, and have, what we ‘imperfectly’ are.
Ah! If this too, too sullied flesh would melt …

Gianfranco Berardi — winner with this work of the Premio Ubu 2018 as best actor, literally lives his life in blindness, — hanging in the balance between light and shadow, and brings about this project with Gabriella Casolari, and her outstanding penmanship, as a manifesto of a ‘time which is actually out of joint’.

I am squashed, blinded,
Like a moth I do meander from a glass to another,
In the permanent quest of a fulfilling something
That some heat could give me,
In this dazzling world,
full of sparkling wonders,
where every single thing is upside down,

In a rising rhythm, the monologue turns into a shout, almost a yell, against an unbearable here and now, as if the ‘micro-theater-in-the-theater’ released his hostage. Master of elocution, athletic, authentic word-machine, he bears the cross-micro-set on his shoulder as a modern hero.

The mood changes into the description of a world which is actually in a state of disorientation everywhere, no latitude excluded. Sadness, and despair, still resonating in the soul of the public, are to greet a new, old, story in the key of a tragicomic fresco of the ‘counter-entness’ we all live in.

There’s a Father and a Son and the broken Dream of a Life as an Actor because of a rare Disease.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet, emblem of doubtfulness and hesitation, discomfort and inadequacy, has seemed to be to the duo-company the ideal character to entrust the leading baton of such a punctual query. This one Hamlet, though, favours a conscious failure more, rather than a shallow give away.

«To be or FB?» is his question. Sexting champion, and a fake winner of an old gone soccer championship wearing #9 on a blue and black shirt, this one Hamlet repudiates appearances in order to find himself as he really is, and his Ophelia, in a cameo of acting mastery — voice over voice, and dramaturgic talent.

The destiny of a codependent couple besieged into this economy. A real treat.

And then, all of a sudden,
All of a sudden the wining body.
We are alone, we are alone.
We are accomplices, though alone.
We are lovers, though alone.
We are brothers, though alone.
Alone, alone to face this journey.

Lost love makes indeed us stronger, but it leaves scars in our brain, and heart. Lightness, clearness, beauty, spontaneity, all is gone, and with fear only we do live, scared of collapsing at any moment. Lost love leaves behind an eroding dust that gets tears despite reasoned reasoning, wisdom, and lucidity.

It’s a sorcery, we are all victims of (…)
The sorcery must not be pandered.
It needs to be fought, or it will eat all of our dreams. (…)
Remember … My love … Always.

Nothing more, and more dignifying can be done, for a penitent, conscious mind, than a deadly wedding with poisonous flowers, and intentionally choose to get back into the small set of red curtains, and die.


False Hamlet

What if Ophelia and Hamlet reunited in the afterlife? Liberated — eventually, from the conditionings of a narration whose demands are of them to wear the skin of tiny fragile creatures in a fate of folly (is it?) and death? Such a linear, almost ‘pink’, mind, as mine, has — in a very poorly hamletic fashion, no doubts whatsoever. That would be the ideal chance to live at last, as they please, an infantine, delicate love which had to be sacrificed on the altar of a tragedy. False Hamlet – Opera Teatrale in Fa maggiore director and playwright Andrea Cramarossa has a different idea, as in his version he imagines those post-mortem souls to confront each other again in a purgatorial dimension yet not for any presumed sin.

Nothing gets to transform anything into a happy ending, hélas, in the poetics of this production signed Teatro delle Bambole, since Hamlet/Ophelia/Hamlet/Ophelia, in a sequence of prolonged soliloqui, are not quite capable of becoming ‘one’, not at the price of reiterating the myth of their very personal ‘repetition’. Federico Gobbi comes in from behind the public, illuminating each and every one with one of those speleology headlights, therefore beginning an actual hermeneutical excavation, which is not only concretely blinding, but requires also a pause to the sight, in order to give priority to the hearing as a deep listening.

So much dense is the author’s penmanship as a poet, in fact, that one needs to darken one’s mind. There is very little, and very little happens, on the other hand, on stage. Perhaps a rehearsal room, or that ‘court tiny theatre’ set up to flush out the murderer, still suspended in duration at the moment of the disclosure itself. Together with this already double semantic dimension, Hamlet’s poetizing presence meeting Ophelia in the end, the talented Isabella Careccia, a string of videos with no audio inserts itself on the backcloth. Could they be memories — in the one danced attempt of spiritual ‘enhancement’ following Tiomnaja noch” (Into the Dark). Surely the truth behind the fiction of ‘theatre’.

This is what ‘False Hamlet’ is, the hyperbolic elevation of false-true, fictitious-real dialectics, in the land of the ‘symbol’ — yet discovered in a previous project by the ensemble from Bari while investigating the life of fireflies —, ending up turning those tiny fragile creatures into small willingless ‘wicks’, symbiotic in the other side as well. Such a hard work ‘to be true’ it is, that the director-playwright imagines them in a scrubbed field, dressed up as on stage, despite dog masks, disillusioned, and almost joyfully resigned to their scenic identity. Incommunicable, so much so, to end up speaking other idioms.

Reflecting in theatrical terms this is a performance more than it is a ‘tale’. For one entire week I have been pondering the nice ‘scene-pictures’, post-modern, kind of in a vintage way. Most of all, however, ruminating the script, as it unavoidably calls one back in, as a protraction of the cruel Scene I, Act III. Reflecting in poetical terms this is an ambitious, yet successful attempt of going beyond Shakespeare. The action on stage, though, still needs some more breathe, out of the philosophical roots of the poetic lines, into the flesh.