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Plain travellers

2009, Italy
Directed by: Gabriele Vacis
Produced by: Foundation of the Alessandrino Regional Theater
Genre: Theatrical Tale
Languages: En

Regional Theater of Alexandria

Di Gabriele Vacis and Natalino Balasso 
con Laura Curino, Natalino Balasso, Cristian Burruano, Lyiu Jin
Scenofonia Roberto Tarasco
Video Michele Fornasero (INDYCA)
Scenes and costumes Lucio Diana
Directed by Gabriele Vacis


Four seemingly ordinary characters meet in the carriage of a high-speed train that crosses the plain. In the background the monotonous landscape of fields, electric cables, overpasses, a non-place that the faster it goes the more it seems to stand still. 
Each traveler has lived an experience so intense as to determine its existence. The four passengers each have their own story and are united by this story.

First of all Regina (the good one Laura Curino). On November 18, 1951, she was just a girl and was celebrating her wedding. It was raining that day, wet bride lucky bride they said, but the rain soon turned into flood. Spouses, friends, old relatives climbed onto the roof; from there they watched the fields become the sea that carried away bicycles and dressers. Regina tells the flood and the flood tells Regina. 
On the morning of November 20, a photo of a girl in a white taffeta dress appeared on the front page of the Gazzettino as she reached the emergency services after spending the night on the roof. 

Natalino Balasso, author of the text together with Vacis, is Cedric Lafontaine, a third generation Venetian from New Orleans, where he played guitar in a blues band. On August 25, 2005 he was in the cellar rehearsing, the drummer felt his own sound weak, something stronger was needed - he said - some splash, sonorous cymbals.  And in that moment a very violent wave invaded the cellar. Even that day the roads were sea dragging cars, trees, people. Hurricane Katrina had reached New Orleans and Cedric Lafontaine had found safety by holding on to a floating double bass.

Lyiu Jin, attentive and curious, listens to these stories; is about to reach the university, where an exam in economics awaits her: "The global economy studies how to take advantage of catastrophes", "It is said that hurricanes clean up the beaches and raze the fishermen's huts: for some it is a good opportunity to build hotels and large works”.

The train is arriving at its destination and Christian Burruano talks about his experience as an entertainer on the Thai coast.  It was 2004, he was in a valley of Eden, the Phi Phi Islands, that December 25th he was married to Chiara. The following day, at twenty past ten in the morning, the boy was taking an aerobics class, he was looking towards the sea, the water was dark, murky. Suddenly a wake cut through the ocean and sucked in the water: low tide had never been seen at that time of day. They were all outside the hotels staring at the receding sea. A moment later a wave of dense, violent water, it seemed painted by Pollok, scattered his wife, Chiara.
The Polesine flood of 1951 claimed almost a hundred victims. Hurricane Katrina in 2005, more than 1,800. The tsunami of December 26, 2004, more than two hundred thousand dead.

Plain travellers” deals with a strong theme making familiar even what occurs far away in time or space.  Despite the awareness of the impossibility of feeling safe anywhere, the tone of the show remains light, light. Ironic and mocking, the characters deviate from the rhetoric of catastrophe. The disaster here, instead of   taking on pathetic or tearful hues, the energy and vitality of its protagonists stands out.

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