Facing at the theater Overwhelmed by an unusual fate in the blue sea of August by Lina Wertmüller, one of the greatest directors of Italian cinema - an author who has profoundly marked the culture and imagination of our country - is a challenge that we have decided to accept with due humility.
Our version of "Overwhelmed by an unusual fate in the blue sea of August", based on the play by Lina Wertmüller written with Valerio Ruiz, places the story in the dimension of the contemporary, choosing the different socio-cultural climate of a late society as a new battlefield capitalist, in which new tensions and new contradictions determine and direct conflicts and emotions between the characters.
In the last, very recent years we have in fact witnessed a distortion of the gender balance, and we have seen the maturation of a completely new awareness and a more multifaceted and inclusive perspective on issues such as sex and race, which assume a fundamental weight within a text like this. If the acquisition of this new awareness feeds the animated squabbles of the first act, set on the luxurious yacht already present in the film - the quarrels between Raffaella and Toti, friends/enemies who bear irreconcilable values, the constant skirmishes between Raffaella and Gennarino, the exchanges between Gennarino and his boss Pippo – it is in the second act, when Gennarino and Raffaella, now shipwrecked, land on the island, that the change in the gender balance takes on decisive dramaturgical importance, also redefining the balance between the two protagonists.
However, taking charge of all this does not mean blunting the sharp irony and caustic energy that distinguish Lina Wertmüller: while rebalancing the balance of power between the two protagonists in the name of gender equality, the text does not lose its ability to provoke, amuse, displace. "Overwhelmed by an unusual fate in the blue sea of August" is a tale of love and class struggle and, even if the conflict between the two characters has shifted from 1974 to today, the rift that divides them remains incurable: one destined to go on for the one's way of privilege, the other destined to be left behind.
Therefore, the show evokes the film without imitating it, translating the cinematographic vision into theatrical action: both with the presence and physicality of the actors who sweat, chase, fight and love each other on stage, as well as resorting to a symbolic dimension that leaves open to the viewer a space of imagination and memory, as well as through the sharpness of grotesque, poignant or comical dialogues. From this point of view, it is an extraordinary resource for me to work with actors of great talent and sensitivity such as Euridice Axen and Giuseppe Zeno. Two performers capable of making the strings of passion and irony vibrate and of finding their own personal measure to give substance to the roles that belonged to two icons of Italian cinema: Mariangela Melato and Giancarlo Giannini. Tightrope walkers, wrestlers, enemies and lovers, Gennarino and Raffaella will fill the stage with the sensual tension and rough poetry that makes its way into their hardened hearts. And, in the wild and primordial horizon of the island, they will look for a state of nature in which it is truly possible to meet and love each other beyond any difference.
Once they are safe, away from the island, there will be no salvation for Gennarino and Raffaella, because love is not enough to love each other, Wertmüller seems to tell us in the bitter epilogue of a story that, almost half a century later, never stops to be a powerful allegory of the ideological, economic and gender conflicts that run through human society.