Premiere: to be scheduled
About this event
ERT Fondazione continues its successful collaboration with Lisa Ferlazzo Natoli and lacasadargilla: after When The Rain Stops Falling and Arrival – adapted from Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life, which nationally premiered this summer in Modena – the company chooses to rewrite a classic text, Electra. The dramaturgy is by Fabrizio Sinisi, directed by Lisa Ferlazzo Natoli and Alessandro Ferroni.
Western theatre begins with a family feud: Agamemnon and Iphigenia, Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Orestes and Clytemnestra; the conflict between fathers and sons is the “moment zero” of our culture. It keeps reappearing in front of our eyes in new forms, endless variants of the same struggle, like a loop in which our history always falls back.
“To rummage, revisit and rewrite Electra is to go to an origin. And the origins, whether we like it or not, belong to the body, the language and the families – theatrical places by election or by construction – where the dialectic struggle always refers to a figuration of the future and to a legacy which can have different features: tear, construction, cancellation or liberation.”
With the Oresteia as a whole, and in Electra in an even more vertiginous manner, we go back to the Law of the Father, and within the codes that it produces: daughters cut off, fathers-husbands done away with, murderer or murdered mothers, sons sacrificed or reduced to silence. The Oresteia leaves behind a daughter, prisoner of a language, of the closed blood circle and of her own obsessions, eager to escape from the prison that excludes her from life and inhibits any action that is not verbal, with the frightening and symbolic voluptuousness of killing. And behind us all is Electra who dances, the engine and precipitate of this silent ruin.
Every character, if we look carefully, has his/her reasons and his/her passions. So be it. Let us rummage. Into what? Does he/she honour his/her father and mother? Or rather. Honour the father or the mother. The mother gives birth, the father begets. To choose a father’s dead language over a mother’s living body is monstrous. It is. Especially today. And beyond that, what? Simply having to choose the reasons of the ones who gave birth to us and generated us has in itself something that seems to condemn us to that eternal sonship.
So, with this Electra we are immersed in something gone wrong, in a hallucination in which everything is still almost immobile. In spite of a glittering promise of a future – whether dream or enterprise – we are in a mood with no escape and no way out. In the measure of spaces and in the control of bodies that do not allow themselves ‘proximity’, deviations or affections. In the horizon of food as obsession and lesson, which gives life, organises it and literally consumes it around rituals and feasts, just as words do.
Thoughts and impulses, stories, dialogues and invectives, games and intentions are dissolved by the text in free and broken endecasyllables, without punctuation, where the verse moves from itself sense and meaning – suddenly, in spite of its own rules – with sudden twists and syntactic alliances, to ‘overflow’ elsewhere. Between the thresholds of a house, doors and tables like tombstones, the only remains that design the space according to the mood, the impulse or the occasion, while everything happens in a black and white out of place and out of time from which fragments of colour and remnants drip.
Looking closely into that something gone wrong, both – the father and the mother – end up being swept away. Why? To go where? What ends with them and what might begin instead? A small catastrophe – upheaval, reversal [or] dissolution; interruption of the continuum, rupture of a morphological and structural equilibrium – has already occurred. It remains to be seen whether sonship – beyond ‘History’ and outside tragedy itself – will be able to gather from this bloody present what the unconscious produces and desires, or leave it to a last brief frame to tell the story of when “no one in the world was happier”.
Director’s notes by lacasadargilla
“Electra begins the day before a funeral. The Father has just died and we have to come to terms with his absence. There is the Mother: eager to start a new life, finally free from the burden of an ambiguous and unmanageable man. She wants to leave the past behind: a daughter who died in obscure circumstances, a dense tangle of unspoken words. She wants to go back to living, to breathing, to being a woman. There is her new partner, with his new plans for the future. And there are the children, a trio of children, each in their own way caught in the grip of an ever-changing contradiction: to embrace the old reasons, or to seek new ones? To continue what exists or to start again? On the one hand, the family as the paradise from which we are driven out and to which we always want to return. Pasolini writes in Pilade: “Our destination is our mother’s womb”. On the other hand, the need to cut the link: to destroy fathers in order to become adults. “Devour the father and the mother if you want to live long”, writes Maupassant. Fathers and sons look at each other through the space of two opposing generations. The commandment to honour father and mother is an impulse ready to spill over into conflict, the heart of a tragic knot, which cannot be untied without something breaking forever. The era of the Father is over: another story begins. But which one?”
assistant director Alice Palazzi
technical director Massimo Gianaroli
stage manager Gianluca Bolla
chief electrician Giuseppe Tomasi
sound engineer Pietro Tirella
dressmaker and stage seamstress Eleonora Terzi
set and props created in the Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione Laboratory
head of the Laboratory and builder in chief Gioacchino Gramolini
technical builders Sergio Puzzo, Marco Fieni, Tiziano Barone
iron constructions Marco Fieni
set decorators Ludovica Sitti and Sarah Menichini, Benedetta Monetti, Rebecca Zavattoni
production Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione
stage photos Serena Pea
video documentation Francesca Cappi