«Radio Argo», or the ancient tragedy that speaks of the present. Peppino Mazzotta on stage in Polistena, Tarsia and San Fili


By John

A courageous dramaturgical undertaking, which revisits one of the classic texts par excellence while remaining faithful to the original model, «Radio Argo» by Igor Esposito, on stage tonight at the Municipal Auditorium of Polistena at 9pm for the new season “Teatro Gioca Terra” (promoted by Dracma – Centro Sperimentale d’Arti Sceniche with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the Calabria Region and the Municipality of Polistena), offers the spectator a performance for voice and music with a strong libertarian vocation . Produced by Teatro Rossosimona, the Neapolitan playwright’s text in fact rereads Aeschylus’s «Oresteia». with strong and direct language, to talk about opposing powers through six testimonies that retrace, in chronological order, the events preceding and following humanity’s most celebrated war, the one waged by the Achaeans against the city of Troy. Peppino Mazzotta will interpret them on stageaccompanied by the original music of Massimo Cordovani, performed live with Mario Di Bonito.

Calabrese from Domanico (Cosenza), known to the public as Inspector Fazio in “Inspector Montalbano”, the actor returns to his homeland with a text – winner of the National Association of Theater Critics Award 2011 and the Annibale Raiuto Award 2012 – performed again last August at the Orestiadi in Gibellina, and which will be performed tomorrow at the Piccolo Teatro Popolare in Tarsia and on Sunday at the Gambaro in San Fili.

«The Oresteia, an example of Greek tragedy in its most mature form, overcomes historical contingency with its narrative charm, to become a true manifesto on the lust for power. It is the only trilogy that has come down to us in its entirety – Mazzotta tells us – and this is also one of the reasons for its success over the centuries. Igor Esposito’s rewriting resonates greatly today, because it puts the story of the Trojan War at the service of a reflection on power. On the one hand there is Agamemnon, general of the Achaean army, who embodies the sadly widespread thought today, linked to the use of weapons to obtain wealth and prestige; on the other Orestes, his son, who after being forced to murder his mother Clytemnestra and Aegisthus, abandons everything, leaves the palace and goes away. Igor’s rewrite focused more on reflecting on what one is willing to do to obtain the coveted power. The rereading therefore moves to themes that can echo contemporaneity, whereas in the classic trilogy the main topic was the transition from divine to human justice, with the institution of a human tribunal in the last of the tragedies”.

«Radio Argo» offers figures that sinisterly echo figures from recent history.

«This shows that humanity learns little from history, from the mistakes made. We always repeat ourselves within the same models, deeply ingrained in the human soul, while we should emancipate ourselves in another direction.”

So the strength of theater is also to suggest a path to emancipation?
«Theatre is a tool through which you can say things in a streamlined manner and make reflections on a more emotional than rational level; and this produces a cathartic effect, a deep cleansing, which promotes empathy between men. Today it is the only analogue communication event left, which involves body-to-body combat, without mediation tools, allowing the passage of messages that otherwise, in too essential communication, would risk getting lost.”