Father Review on Tempo House (Scotland)
Having seen the show, it appears to take two themes – abuse by the father, and the destruction of the environment. How do you feel that these two subjects relate to each other?
I think we should start with this story. The Trojan war. Agamemnon the chief of all Greeks is asked by the Gods to kill his own daughter in order to have winds flying in the right direction and start the War with Troy. What does it mean? This is not really an historical fact. It’s an archetype showing us how much men had to kill their own ‘female’ side. In my play the Mother says about the Father: ‘Daughters are their father’s soul’.
In my writing I am constantly haunted by this subject. The female soul is also Nature. This civilization has been aggressive against women from the start and then later through Christianity, which separated totally body from soul, aggressive also against Nature. It’s a process that led us where we are now. Science only recently, through quantum physic, is opening new ways of thinking, but is quite recent. I speak about this in a book I wrote.
Would you identify your work as an attempt to address serious social issues through theatre as a form of activism? What does theatre as activism mean for you?
This play is based on a friend of mine real experience and it’s an intimate work with mythical scope, where the personal experiences between child and parent are reflected in our wider relationship with Mother Nature and the evolution of our climate. In fact when my friend was telling me her story I immediately envisioned a wider perspective. The father here is also a well-known meteorologist who is aware of climate change. He wants to save the Earth: he believes Man is the cause of the disaster, therefore Man should be the solution. He is lost in his own delusion because he was the first to commit a crime having abused his own daughter.
So a multiple layer of storytelling gives to this play a strong metaphorical meaning. I believe theater to be the only place where in the dark you are confronted with another human being feelings that are experienced in that precise moment. No technology. This is so vital for getting in touch with our deeper emotions. So yes I do believe theater can have an active role now. We are at a crucial point in our civilization. Many people do not realize how dangerous the situation we are living in is, even if many scientists are more and more alarmed. But as my meteorologist says in the play: ‘ What if they are using us as a cover?…they send us on television…they let us having conferences…but what if no one of them cares?’ And this is definitely what people in the world are start thinking about the decision makers and who is behind them.
I am going to Edinburgh fringe with this play for a three-weeks full run in August. And I definitely see myself carrying a message to the people. Its necessary. And urgent.
Since there are three characters in the script, what made you decide to make it as a one-person show?
I really appreciate you asking me this. You see these three characters are actually coming from the same Place. They are like Pirandello’s characters in a way. They are three but one. There is something like a ‘higher dimension’ where they belong. They are coming from there and they become humans just to tell us the story of this abuse. Then they go back to their Light at the end of the play. You see in this play words as Water, Door, Climate Change. Baby’s cries, Vagina resonate through a path that leads us elsewhere. We are inclined to total despair when suddenly we find our selves in a blue room: a vision of a future. And the Daughter in the play says: ‘That Ancient Feeling? Do you remember that Ancient Feeling?’ I will say is this Feeling that will bring us into the Future.
What kind of impact do you hope that the show will have on audiences?
I hope audiences will awake. People will start questioning themselves. Not only marching in the streets to ask for a better future but also really questioning their lives and their own behavior. Men and women of different age. And in my play this Mother does not see what is in front of her. So she becomes somehow ‘accessory’ to the crime as many women do, closing their eyes. But the Future is their own. They have to open the eyes and find their knowledge again. This knowledge is slowly coming to Light. Women in Ancient Times were great astrophysicists…and this Mother is an amateur astrophysicist…Not there yet! And Science and Wisdom were linked. They don’t seem to be really like this nowadays.
Do you see the work within any tradition – are there any artists who you would say have influenced the process of creating Father?
I was influenced surely by Pinter writing. Pinter had an amazing courage facing the way people are communicating with each other in our contemporary world, lying to themselves all the time.
Chekhov already envisioned that. But Pinter went so deep in what I call his deflagration of hypocrisy. I love his irony and I am using the same ironic key in my play. Any contemporary playwright should just worship him and thank him for what he did. And then, as I mentioned before, Luigi Pirandello, for his awareness of the very thin line between true and untrue in the way people face life: hiding. And their longing for another dimension. But I do believe Pinter also reaches this level when he says: ‘Apart from the known and the unknown what else is there?’. He is not only talking about facts. The question is much more …galactic, I would say.