“La”… Miles Gloriosa on stage from Thursday in Syracuse for Inda


By John

«Comedy has canons of comedy that are too different from those we have today. Filled with jokes that allude to something we don't even perceive today. You have to transform those lines into situations that can create the same short circuit that existed two thousand years ago between actor and spectator. There will be the madness of witnessing paradoxical things that will make you laugh, I believe, I hope, I hope.” Director Leo Muscato experiences the anxiety of the premiere. Not the first time at the Greek theater in Syracuse, having just returned from last year's success with «Prometheus Bound», but the anxiety of the first comedy, «Miles Gloriosus» by Plautus, which has never been performed in the ancient auditorium.

This year's third Inda production will debut Thursday with an all-female cast starring Paola Minaccioni. On stage Giulia Fiume, Alice Spisa, Pilar Perez Aspa, Francesca Mària, Gloria Carovana, Arianna Primavera, Ilaria Ballantini, Deniz Ozdogan, Anna Charlotte Barbera, Valentina Spaletta Tavella; Elena Polic Greco (choir leader), and the choir Ginevra Di Marco, Sara Dho, Alessandra Fazzino, Valentina Ferrante, Diamara Ferrero, Valeria Girelli, Margherita Mannino, Stella Piccioni, Giulia Rupi, Rebecca Sisti, Silvia Valenti, Irene Villa, Sara Zoia .

«It is a challenge to make Greek theater laugh and tell a story that can make sense to today's viewer. You have to create a theatrical machine that puts the spectator in a position to be continually stimulated.”

What is the starting point?
«The rewriting can only happen through a scenic rather than textual rewriting. You have to find the possibility of connection to our contemporary world. We did it by delving into the hidden plots of the text, into the unsaid and the situation that we see before our eyes on a daily basis. We live in a world where war is around the corner, we see it represented every day on the news, on talk shows, on all podcasts. And in the comedy we are in a military world: there are soldiers, or servants of soldiers, or prostitutes. There are soldiers who work hard 24/7 to train for a war that won't happen. War is in the air, but in fact it is not represented.”

The scenography is simple, but very colourful…
«We are in a military camp, with camouflage tents, military uniforms: the difference is that we are inside a comedy, something closer to the world of the clown than to the world of tragedy. These camouflage suits are yellow, red, they almost have fluorescent colors, because it is a world in which it is possible to make anything happen. We added a choir of 40 women which is not included in the text, but is a necessary choir to tell the story of life in a military camp. The scenography is actually the people, all the actions they do, which convey a crazy vitality.”

A comedy where you laugh and cry…
«This is a story of abuse of power. There is one who, by his own admission, is the grandson of Venus and Mars, and it is as if he was recommended by the minister of justice and the general commander of the Army. And he is unfit to run a camp. It is useless training, because we are in a fabulous world, that of the theater, in which wars no longer exist. And the viewer understands that he is an inappropriate person, who has probably been bullied throughout his life and now there is a moment of revenge. And all those who have been bullied eventually become executioners, even quite ferocious ones. At the end you empathize with him because you realize that he is a victim. And because of the way Paola Minaccioni is interpreting him, even though this Miles character is the protagonist of so many brutal gestures, I'm starting to love him.”

Why this reading with only female interpreters?
«The text comes down hard on women. What happens if these words are said by women who can be ironic about their female condition? It seems that Miles has done a casting to choose these soldiers, imagining a harem that will turn against him by becoming the armed wing of Palestrione, the director who implements the two hallucinating pranks. And having these women is an extremely significant experience, because when women come together and work together they really manage to create an emotion that is difficult to explain.”

There will be a man who contributed to the show…
«Caterina Mordeglia wrote a crazy translation, which restores the classicism of the text but with a contemporary language. And then during this winter there were those one hundred phone calls with Francesco Morosi: with him there was an exchange of ideas, thoughts, the many things that cannot be deduced from the text. Let's not forget that it is a Latin-Roman text set in Greece: we are in Ephesus and the characters come from far away, they come from Athens. The Romans laughed at the Greeks, because Plautus couldn't set those stories in his contemporary world because obviously you couldn't have a bullied Roman leader.”