“I get naked on stage between desire and violence”

He is an actor for the theater, for the cinema. He is the writer of Gli anni felici (soon to be reissued for Lindau) and Le mani sull’amore (Feltrinelli). In the 1970s, together with Federico Tiezzi, he founded Magazzini, today Compagnia Lombardi-Tiezzi. He is four times, between 1988 and 2002, the Ubu Award for best male interpretation and is considered the interpreter par excellence of the texts of Giovanni Testori. He has worked with Bertolucci, Fassbinder, Riccardo Muti, Robert Wilson, Martone, Giulia Lazzarini, Mariangela Melato. But in the highly anticipated show by Pascal Rambert Prima, on stage at the Piccolo Teatro Grassi in Milan until 28 May – which opens a triptych composed for the Milanese theater, which produces it and of which Rambert is associated artist – Sandro Lombardi, from Arezzo in 1951 , it’s just «Sandro». «When I write it is for them», wrote the director and author of the text Rambert in the notes referring to Anna Bonaiuto, Anna Della Rosa, Leda Kreider and Marco Foschi, the other four performers in addition to Lombardi, «and the character of the pièce also becomes their identity, a trace of them, of another existence, of another themselves». On stage, a constant conflict between physical desire and the reality of bodies and relationships, in two hours of energies that collide on the verge of autofiction, framed, it is appropriate to say, from the preparation of the “première” of a show inspired by Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello. What is biographical about this character? «I met Pascal six or seven months ago and I didn’t talk about me, except about me as an actor. Then, when I received the text, I found that inside my character, who is called like everyone else with his real name, there are things about me that I have never told anyone but myself». A piece of autofiction: real-life nudity staged. «It is an interesting novelty above all for its radical nature. It’s not the first time I’ve played a character named Sandro: it happened in 1985 with the text by Federico Tiezzi Portrait of the actor as a young man. Pirandello did it too: the famous prompter Battaglia, who ends up in the Mountain Giants, Testori degli Scarozzanti. In Rambert’s case, however, Pirandellism is radical: the conflict, which has been the basis of all Western theater since Aeschylus, is taken to its extreme consequences». Without shame and without masks? «Between the two extremes, modesty and exhibition, there are intermediate gradations in which the actors can more or less mask the intimacy of certain statements». What emotional consequences does the zero time between real event and arrival on the page have? “Swinging. Between the fear of being too autobiographical and the extreme excitement of being naked. It had only happened to me with Testori’s Tre lai». Alongside the theme of age and theater within the theatre, there is in Prima that of erotic, carnal and amorous desire. «That short-circuits with age. We have a long time with Anna Bonaiuto where she and I are alone behind that little door through which the actors from Prima enter and leave during the show: in those waits, in those suspensions of time which are one of the least known aspects to the public, in that intimacy and solidarity that has been created, the first thing Anna said to me was: We’ll help each other, right?. We helped each other: the text requires her and me to say terrible things. For a woman to talk about her own wrinkles on her knees and for a man about her hands her age or about that time they made love. Whether the pain is killing a father or mother or the awareness that one’s body falls apart, is destroyed, that in my hands I see those of my father or the hands of death, this causes a catharsis». Towards the end the collective tragedy arrives, however. “A scene about the war. It is no coincidence that in the rehearsals Pascal said: Let’s do the Ukraine scene. That scene, technically the most difficult, creates fewer problems for me than the others because – now I will say something that is terrible to become aware of – however dramatic the theme of war is, aging, for a human being, is close. Obviously, our conscience makes us feel unacceptable in any form of violence, but the worst is the one that time works on our bodies: it is dramatically so”. One hundred years since Testori’s birth. «He marked my life as an actor: a month ago we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of our company and in addition to Tiezzi – I met him at 14 and he pushed me into theater in every way – Testori, whom I met only a few times, he became my reference author, until the identification». How did it happen? “He came into contact with us at a time when the criminal warehouses had become the black man of the Italian theater scene, our shows were crushed regardless of their value”. We wanted to “erase” it, we would say today. «On an evening that I will never forget, at the Teatro dell’Elfo, De Capitani and Bruni came to our rescue and at the end of the show Bonacina, director of Sabato, Testori and Emanuele Banterle came to meet us. Testori I think he was motivated by the fact of seeing someone in the conditions that he knew well: conditions of lynching. Testori proposed to Tiezzi to direct Confiteor, Tiezzi to Testori to direct Arialda, but the time became ripe only after Testori’s death. My Edipus marked a rebirth, it was the first step to get him out of the narrow corner in which Italian culture had tried to relegate him: a Catholic, penitential, grey, punitive author and so on». Instead? «Instead, its chromatic, violent, erotic, pop dimension was there for all to see but no one tried to see it or could see it. I know I did what Testori asked the actors with this Christian expression: to incarnate the verb. It took six months of study to learn the language: because Edipus is not a dialect, but a journey, which also includes visits to the Sacro Monte di Varallo and the electrocution of those figures, a universe that is not only theatrical, but human, social, political, religious”. Now Testori will pass the baton, symbolically. «When Valter Malosti sent me the video of Cleopatras with Anna Della Rosa I thought about the relay with her. Not a direction, but a laboratory path whose fulcrum will be this delivery. I will guide Anna to make her my interpretation of Tre lai and we will go on stage in Modena in November ». In his books the memory of Pasolini also emerges strongly. «One of the pillars of my training. I met him early on through cinema, I was a teenager and didn’t understand anything, but he marked me. We didn’t stage it with the quantity and intensity of Testori, but the intent in 1994, when we did Porcile, was to make it a unique show with Edipus, centered on the father-son relationship». Did you know him? “I saw it. During the period in which Davoli was in the military in Arezzo, Pasolini came to visit him. One morning, along the main street of the city, I recognized him in the company of a boy in uniform and I didn’t have the courage to introduce myself. But I followed them. They went into a jeweler’s shop, I waited for them outside: the boy was happily admiring a watch on his wrist. Then up to the station. I saw a gust of wind coming: it ruffled Pasolini but the boy’s curls remained motionless, sculpted by Michelangelo. I lost them at the corner afterwards.’



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.


On Key

Related Posts