Theatre in brackets
Sani is a word that sings, a concert, a folk ballad that alternates stories and songs in a close dialogue. So in “SANI!” every story and every song tells something, some themes intertwine but the plot remains light as it should be in a concert. The common thread is autobiographical, in his stories Paolini recounts small and large, personal and collective crises that have changed the course of things. Crises recounted as opportunities, sometimes taken, other times misunderstood and wasted.
It starts with the underlying themes of the climate crisis and ecological transition. It starts and ends with two stories already told in “La Fabbrica del Mondo”, the project by Marco Paolini and Telmo Pievani broadcast by Rai3 in January 2022. It starts with a tale about the weight of wealth (the Artificial) in relation to the weight of biomass (the Natural). On stage, an enormous house of cards shows the fragility of the balance of every ecological system, natural or artificial, but the prose of the television story in the theatre becomes ballad-like, allowing for leaps and somersaults.
Paolini recounts the tragicomic consequences of his first (and only) meeting with Carmelo bene in 1983 that changed his theatrical direction, and immediately afterwards the simultaneous Cold War crisis involving Stanislav Petrov. In rapid succession, passing through more distant memories, we arrive at the crisis, the lockdown of 2000. The opening story and the final one, Cathedral, are consistent with the guiding thought of The World Factory: it is not enough to be aware, in a crisis you need courage and imagination, because going back to the way it was before is not possible, to wish for it is human, but it is neither useful nor practical.
Sani is an expression used to say goodbye at the foot of the Alps, in the Piave valley. It comes from Salus, it sums up the sense of theatre for this time, a theatre that brings together by building bridges.
SANI! is an embrace, a wish, an invitation to try, a tonic against loneliness in the form of a folk ballad. The exclamation mark expresses trust in the audience’s response to the greeting. Earning that trust, conveying it is the challenge of this theatre in parenthesis.
“But what is the message, sorry?
Stay healthy! Stay healthy, serve us healthy citizens…”
With captions in the Croatian language