The tender Marcovaldo according to Peppe Servillo: applause at the «Ragazzi MedFest» in Reggio


By John

A bow to the audience, an affectionate greeting to the youngest in the room, and then immerse yourself, Peppe Servillo, historic voice of Avion Travel, in the masterful interpretation of some songs taken from «Marcovaldo», one of the most famous characters in Italian literature. This will remain one of the most intense pages of the “MedFest Guys”the children’s theater festival created by SpazioTeatro which for its seventh edition has given itself a special mission: to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Calvino’s birth with a big party in the union of theatre, literature, art and science.

Accompanied on guitar by Cristiano Califano, Peppe Servillo puts the show on stage at the Zanotti Bianco theatre a glimpse of the Italy of the economic boom through the curious gaze of its protagonist. Between realism and comedy, the fairy tale is more modern than ever.
«With the innocence typical of peasant culture and an resourcefulness that makes him particularly likeable, Marcovaldo poetically narrates the conflict between human nature and the need to live in the apartment blocks of large metropolises and the message is very timely», claims Servillo , adding: «The great poets always speak to us and Calvino belongs to them; it is up to us to have the adequate predisposition and understand that the things he focuses on also concern Calabria: urbanisation, the relationship with nature, the consumer society, relationships, oppressive work and the lack of freedom that can derive from it . It is not just the discovery of a “communist” ideology; these are issues that are part of human nature and of our times and intellectuals must also deal with them.”

The journey through the pages of «The seasons in the city», a collection of twenty short stories by Italo Calvino, begins and ends with «Primavera», including three songs: «Cuore grammatico», «The conversation» and «Scherzi d’interno» , by Avion Travel, a band with which Servillo debuted in the world of music in the ’80s. And the finale is all about the Neapolitan musical tradition with «Mm’aggi’ ‘a curà», a song launched and brought to success by Nino Taranto and part of the repertoire of Peppe Servillo & Solis String Quartet, rearranged for the occasion by Califano.

«We are happy with this evening and with the public’s response to our project. The city, the great protagonist of the pages of Marcovaldo – underlines artistic director of Ragazzi MedFest Gaetano Tramontana – represents the challenge of SpazioTeatro which has always been characterized by being a widespread festival: build a cultural offer dedicated to the new generations in Reggio Calabria by working in the areawhere it is not easy to manage and find spaces for culture, and restoring a new protagonism to the suburbs”.

Meanwhile, the last two events are approaching to close the event inaugurated last September 24th, always under the banner of Calvino: on Friday the scene will be all for a special production designed for the Ragazzi MedFest: the performance reading «Tre Cosmicomiche» while, for the program dedicated to the theatre, Sunday will be the big day for Mario Perrotta, 2022 Ubu Award for the best new Italian text with «Come una specie di vertigo. Calvino, freedom.” The opportunity for the public will be to appreciate the new and very personal investigation that the actor and playwright has developed around the works of Italo Calvino, starting from a fragile but fundamental word: freedom.

And for those who want to treat themselves to the last emotions, there is still time, again this Sunday, to linger on the illustration exhibition «Italian Excellences – Figures for Italo Calvino», hosted at the Urban Center. The event, organized by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the Drosselmeier Academy and the Giannino Stoppani Foundation, was translated, thanks to the works of important illustrators on the national and international scene, into an emotional journey into Calvino’s work through the visual.