«Ludopazza», descent into hell starting… from a slot room. Success at the Milan Fringe Festival of the “Messina” show


By John

Definitely a success: inlast performance at the Milan Fringe Festival, full room and lots of applause. AND now the next stop at the Catania Fringe (Piazza Scammacca), from 19 to 29 October. His debut as an author staged (hesitations and resistance finally overcome) with «Ludopazza» by the Messina journalist and writer Davide Marchetta It couldn’t have been better. In the non-theatrical space, as is in the spirit of the Fringe, but perfectly functional, of the Comics Museum, theactress and director Sabrina Marchetti (granddaughter of the author and daughter of the well-known actor Maurizio: how much Messina is on stage in Milan!, there is also the assistant director Adriana Mangano, and the production is Nutrimenti Terrestri by Maurizio Puglisi from Messina) told the story in the right tone fall into hell, often without return (this is gambling addiction, an epidemic behavioral disease, still very underestimated) of the protagonist Sandra, a nurse who has sacrificed family and quality of work, ideals and capacity for relationships, desire to live and idea of ​​the future.

It is the story of a here and now with no ends, dramatically closed in the semi-darkness of a slot machine room, destined to a compulsion to repeat, made tragic by the protagonist’s awareness of having ruined herself and those who love her and of not being able to escape from her hellish circle.
We all know that gambling addiction can be effectively cured, but, as with alcoholism, it requires a precise will and personal strength of mind that clashes with the psychological situation: it takes what can perhaps be defined as a sort of explantation of something which is inside whoever is affected by it or more simply a decisive shift towards one’s essence.

Marchetta’s text examines subjectively, with verbal crudeness of tone and with a sense of reality (the real one and at the same time the other fictitious one that the protagonist creates for herself) highly dramatic, the life-non-life of Sandra. He essentially manages to bring us into a world that could be incomprehensible to those looking from the outside, each of us with his supposed normality.
Telling how you start, how you continue, how little by little one becomes a liar and even a thieve, stealing even from one’s children’s piggy bank, how the slot room becomes a sort of home, certainly the main residence, like a new and useless dignity (for example, not letting others see players who have run out of money) is replaced by the simpler one of social life, the author urges the spectator, drags him to the protagonist’s dead end. Not only that, with interesting dramatic skill he proposes a sort of escalation: every time we believe we have reached the bottom he makes us discover that there is another one, even lower, in a descent that becomes a precipice.

Along this path Sabrina Marchetti – who also has the merit of having dug out the text from her uncle’s very full drawers – builds a “Ludopazza” who in her stage confession finds a way to finally return to being sincere, but without any concession to a better tomorrow. It modulates the tones of anger above all, but not only, and with an interesting use of the lights that project its double shadow it makes visual both the (violent) dialogue between Sandra’s opposing sides and that with the other characters evoked (the husband, the lover, mother, best friend) from her haunting story.