In Lamezia Terme laughter and reflections with Chiara Francini and Alessandro Federico


By John

A couple in crisis, two worlds that can no longer meet, despite their vain attempts at dialogue. It is the image of a story that is more current than ever. “Couple open, almost wide open”, with Chiara Francini And Alexander Federicolast night in Grandinetti Municipal Theatre Of Lamezia Termewhich recorded a sold out, told a story in which the disparity in growth within their microcosm is evident. The event is financed with PSC Development and Cohesion Plan resources allocated by the Regional Department of Culture to the promotion of Theater in Calabria.

It was 1983 when the “revolutionary” mind of Franca Rame And Dario Fo they gave birth to a text that depicted our Italy as an emancipated nation in the light of the student movements and youth protests prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s. The story was inspired by their stormy relationship, brought to the stage almost as if it were the best way to exorcise the couple’s problems that arose in their daily lives.

That tragicomic masterpiece tells of a wife, Antonia (Chiara Francini), Zodiac sign «Cancer rising Bitch» married to the engineer Mambretti (Alexander Federico), bored man, constantly looking for adventures outside of married life. Between suicide attempts, even three in a month, and constant recriminations towards her man, Antonia is convinced by her husband to become an open couple, even if the woman herself knows that this solution to the problem “It has always failed.” His is a belief dictated by a fundamental one «First rule: for the open pair to work, it must be open on only one side, that of the male! Because… if the open couple is open on both sides… there are air currents!».

Antonia dreams of a life in which true love reigns, without conditioning or betrayal; exactly the opposite of what her husband experiences, as she hides away in her adolescent world. It is her son Roberto who convinces Antonia to change her life. The decision to leave home changes the cards on the table. It will be a radical change for her: new look and 12cm heels make her feel like a woman again. Something that will lead her to date a man younger than her.

Her husband, who in reality has never left her side, visiting her twice a day in her new home, has attacks of jealousy. The new reality leads him to have the same old and forgotten attitudes as his wife: scenes and suicide attempts become his way of demonstrating desperation for what he has lost.

Chiara Francini does not suffer the burden of the legacy left by Franca Rame. She’s explosive as only she can be. She naturally expresses the difficult role of Antonia, a woman who wants to have her own identity. Her hilarity permeates the entire play, especially when she declares she wants to be «desired like a lover» and of not wanting to recognize herself in the roles of friend or mother to which she was relegated by her husband for convenience. Her character’s mimicry is very inspired by Dario Foa convincing way to take over the scene, even when he addresses the audience directly, breaking the fourth wall and indirectly involving them in his considerations.

Next to her Alexander Federico, perfect in the role of the cheating husband. The way of representing his character gives the exact dimension of a man who is initially sure of his certainties, but ends up being consumed by the atrocious pangs of a devastating jealousy. Very convincing in the role of the eternal Peter Pan and in that of a desperate man, he manages with great skill to give a touch of knowing hilarity to the figure that was Dario Fo.

In “Couple open, almost wide open” we laugh a lot. The audience feels involved in the adventures of the married couple, showing their appreciation with widespread applause throughout the show. Credit also goes to the direction of Alessandro Tedeschi who was able to maintain the tight and ironic dialogues of the original text, managing in some moments to make it more current.

“Couple open, almost wide open” Years later, it continues to convince for the quality of the text but, above all, for the excellent acting and interpretation of Chiara Francini And Alexander Federicowhich ultimately received over two minutes of applause from the audience, to the tune of “Red ankle boots”sung by Dalida.

The theatrical season of LOVE Calabria will come back Thursday 14 December to the Grandinetti Theater in Lamezia Terme And Friday 15 December to the Politeama Theater of Catanzaro with “Romeo and Juliet”a ballet in two acts loosely based on the tragedy of William Shakespeare. Exceptional protagonists Carola Puddu And Paolo Barbonagliaalready stars of “Friends of Maria De Filippi”.