Calvin and the dizzying freedom. Mario Perrotta’s monologue closes the Ragazzi MedFest in Reggio in style


By John

«It turns, the world turns without space without end / With new born loves / With already finished loves». This success by Jimmy Fontana accompanies the beginning and conclusion of the new work by Mario Perrottafamous actor and theater director, four times Ubu Award: «Like a kind of vertigo. Calvino, freedom”. A very personal investigation on the theme of freedom through the works of Italo Calvino, addressed by Perrotta with great acting mastery that recalls the monologues of Dario Fo; a show that he collected great success at the Zanotti Bianco theatre, putting the Cosmo & Comice – il Ragazzi MedFest series on the back burner for Italo Calvino, created by SpazioTeatro with the artistic direction of Gaetano Tramontana.

The scene is essential: a platform with headlights; a chair and a microphone. Mario Perrotta thus gives life to his character: the dwarf reported in Calvino’s autobiographical novel «The day of a scrutineer». His is an inner voice of someone who seeks and talks about freedom as he knows how, transforming it into verses, into music, into parables and hyperbolic connections between one novel and another, into sarcastic and frenetic theater-songs and sudden intimate minuets.

Always determined not to “resign from optimism”, nor to abandon that love story as personal as it is prohibitive with that immobile body and the tongue incapable of expressing itself. Through the pages of the trilogy of «Our ancestors», «The Cosmicomics», «The invisible cities», «Palomar», the journey recalls the distortions and anxieties of the contemporary worldhumanity degraded and painful, in contact with tragedies, handicaps and suffering, but the hope is that human beings can be better.

«This work was born from desire to talk about freedom; a beautiful but at the same time abstract concert; throughout Calvino’s literary production – Perrotta claims – self-determination was a true obsession: being free in a world where others exist with their freedoms. It is a fragile freedom, because the Enlightenment principle to which Calvino refers, according to which one’s own freedom ends where it harms the freedom of others, is a rule of civil coexistence that will never be able to dominate selfishness; and the pandemic proves it.”

So, ending on a high note for the seventh edition of Ragazzi MedFest, which animated the city of Reggio for two weeks, celebrating the centenary of the birth of Italo Calvino: two well-balanced weeks between literature and theatre, with 15 events on the programme, a grand opening party with over 20 artists involved, 4 literary meetings, 7 events dedicated to theatre, including matinees for schools and evening shows, and an exhibition international illustration.

“It’s a certainly a positive balance – underlines the artistic director, Gaetano Tramontana, who thanked and called all the staff with him – . The great challenge is always to have a strong impact on the territory, and we have tried to overcome it through a multidisciplinary artistic proposal that is aimed in particular at young people but capable of embracing different audiences. Spectators welcomed all our proposals with great enthusiasm, perhaps even more so than in previous editions, and this makes us particularly proud, testifying to the community’s recognition of the validity of the project we are carrying out. Furthermore, a relationship with schools has begun to be created and the union between theater and science has been strengthened. On the other hand, the idea of ​​working on Cosmo, an element of inspiration for Calvino, was really tempting and offered us the possibility of continuing our path: two parallel lines that happily met in our production Cosmo & Comice” .