Conception and direction : Romeo Castellucci
Music : Scott Gibbons
Dramaturg : Piersandra Di Matteo
Mottos : Claudia Castellucci
Assistant director : Filippo Ferraresi
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
Production director : Benedetta Briglia
Production manager : Giulia Colla
Promotion and distribution : Gilda Biasini
Technical headquarter team : Carmen Castellucci, Francesca Di Serio,
Gionni Gardini, Caterina Soranzo
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;
Le Phénix Scène nationale Pôle européen de création Valenciennes;
Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen; Holland Festival Amsterdam;
V-A-C Foundation; Triennale Milano Teatro; National Taichung Theater
The bond between actor and spectator is tightened, until there is no longer the slightest distinction.
The performance coincides with actual life.
The roles are no longer to be prepared, but verified.
There is no improvisation, only the abyss of an absolute present.
This performance calls for the participation of a large group of anonymous men.
These men – called in from the street – are the unquestioned protagonists of the show.
Each of them, in order to participate in the show, has to sign a protocol, promising to abide by it strictly. The rules set out their duties as “actors”.
Even after signing the protocol, the “actors” remain unaware of the performance.
There are no rehearsals. A few minutes before the show begins, each of them is given a police uniform and wireless earphones.
When the curtain rises, the “actors” must meticulously carry out the orders they are given over the earphones. These commands are received individually.
Each policeman learns his orders in real time and must wholly execute them, as specified in the protocol.
Each action (whether it is simple, complex or contradictory) is to be done within the time defined by the order. The source of the orders remains offstage and cannot be heard nor seen by the spectators.
The costumes worn by the “actors” are police uniforms, from a few decades ago. This symbolically indicates the force that governs everything and everyone and, at the same time, underlines the ineradicable individual response given to fate, when the latter appears in the terms of an obligation. What is at stake is the immediate acquisition of a part to be “played”: things that must be done, even if no intentions can be understood.
In such a place – a Police station – giving “orders” through earphones raises issues including our relation with the Law, individual and collective responsibility and submissiveness. But a literary-theatrical Text also takes on the role of a Law. The pseudo-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 all mediated psychology and makes room for the truth of experience, because what matters is the immediate embodiment of the response and not a calculated improvisation done by someone who knows the ropes of the trade.
The American police uniforms bring to mind the comic aspect of silent film. This is a specific iconography in which the Law triggers and prepares an apparatus of disaster. Comedy is now the hard core of the Law. The comic potential that inevitably arises here eventually swerves towards an obscure and perturbing side. This show creates a confrontation between the schematic determinacy of the orders and the indeterminacy of time that, in passing, brings in chance and inexperience; trepidation and a struggle for steadiness. Comedy and violence, each the reflection of the other.