Conception and direction : Romeo Castellucci
Music : Scott Gibbons

With Valer Dellakeza and officers Luca Nava and Sergio Scarlatella
And with men from the street

Dramaturgical dialogue : Piersandra Di Matteo
Director assistants : Silvano Voltolina, Filippo Ferraresi
Standards writing : Claudia Castellucci

Technical director : Eugenio Resta
Stage technician : Andrei Benchea
Light technician : Andrea Sanson
Sound technician : Claudio Tortorici
Costume keeper : Chiara Venturini
Stage sculptures and automations : Plastikart studio
Costume realization : Grazia Bagnaresi
Latin translations: Stefano Bartolini

Production director : Benedetta Briglia
Promotion and distribution : Gilda Biasini
Promotion and distribution: Gilda Biasini
Production and tour: Giulia Colla
Organization: Caterina Soranzo
Technical headquarter team : Carmen Castellucci,
Gionni Gardini, Francesca Di Serio, Rocio Espana
Administration: Michela Medri, Elisa Bruno, Simona Barducci
Economic consultant : Massimiliano Coli

Societas, in co-production with : Kunsten Festival des Arts Brussels ;
Printemps des Comédiens Montpellier 2021 ; LAC - LuganoArte Cultura;
Maillon Théâtre de Strasbourg - Scène Européenne; Temporada Alta 2021;
Manège-Maubeuge Scène nationale; MC93 Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis;
ERT Emilia Romagna Teatro Italy;
Le Phénix Scène nationale Pôle européen de création Valenciennes;
Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen; Holland Festival Amsterdam;
Triennale Milano Teatro; National Taichung Theater, Taiwan

ph. Luca Del Pia
ph. Jean Michel Blasco

The performance opens in a state of alert. Noises and machines suggest forms of surveillance and resound like a warning to our perception.

The Actors who inhabit this scene, recruited through a public call, have not learned their parts. They learn them while performing them. This performance corresponds to an execution of orders received remotely. In order to participate in the performance, these Actors signed a pact, declaring that they will strictly adhere to the commands. This is a commitment they must respect at any cost. It is also where their conscious will comes to an end. Their experience of alienation then begins, when carrying out actions they do not understand and for which they are not prepared.

Their condition, far from being a constructive improvisation or an abandonment to spontaneity, compresses the time of conscious action, reducing it to zero. It is the epitome of speed, that eliminates any time for critical thought. It seems to coincide with an ‘abandonment’, an oath taken, a way of vanishing into the part, a part that the Actors do not know. These gestures seem intimate, when observed externally, and they are, but we also know that they have been ‘intimated’, in an obscure confusion between intimacy and intimation; what ensues is a frenzy that leaves no space whatsoever for reconsideration.

What we see is a mass of actions that gradually accumulate, until the stage is saturated and empties, and the world is filled and stripped bare. These are simple, daily actions, which may seem strange, taken out of context, but in any case, they are easily recognisable and carried out individually. Action overwhelms thought, which no longer seems to have the slightest importance here. Thought abdicates its role as a cause that generates actions, and also its role in judging the actions that have just been carried out. Everyone knows exactly what to do, but this view, which opens up like a balcony overlooking a public square, raises a few questions: Who are they? What are they doing? Where are they going? And we realise that, while still individuals, they are actually similar, perhaps the image of one another. They are brothers. Or perhaps they seem like a hallucinatory vision of one and the same person who, at the same time, condenses hundreds of different actions, saturating space. No, these are not decisions. They are executions. In a time that has been extinguished.

Reinforcing the resemblance in the condition of these men, they are all wearing uniforms. The ones typically worn by policemen in American cinema, silent and comic. This iconography introduces the Law, which prepares and triggers the apparatus of the disaster. Comedy is now the hard-core version of the Law. This comic potential is a device founded on the base materialism of the body and disorder, that swerves the events towards an obscure and perturbing side. The policemen, who have the task of ensuring that the Law is respected, are now the carriers of a Law that is soon transformed into a farce.

The Actors, in their physical presence, are asked to embody a scenic quality that lives in the very instant in which an action is carried out. This eliminates any kind of mediated psychology and makes room for the truth of experience, because what matters here is the immediate embodiment of the response and not a calculated improvisation carried out by an adept professional.

Bros forces together: words which are no more than commands; the mute language of images; and the emblematic words of the mottos. Many scenes take shape on the stage, with unusual and emblematic situations. They hint at the false bottom, or bottoms, of appearance; the dark side of logic; the inconsistency of certainty… Mental images take the upper hand over space, in a complete syncretism that leads to a new, active language: enigmatic, arcane and made up of figures that always refer to something else, much like hieroglyphics.

Each actor is himself a spectator of what he is doing. The knot tying together actor and spectator is thus tightened, until any distinction is suffocated. This performance coincides with life as it unfolds at that very moment. Its parts are no longer to be prepared, but verified. There is no improvisation, but the abyss of an absolute present.