Elvira Frosini and Daniele Timpano are authors, directors and actors on the Italian contemporary scene who since 2008 have shared a common artistic path. In numerous works produced over recent years, Frosini/Timpano use their bodies onstage to disarm, deconstruct and embody history’s narratives, using a vast trove of different references to analyse the anthropological drifts of societies, from the academic to the pop cultural, which constitute contemporary imagination and consciousness.
Their texts are staged using a complex theatrical construct in which the actors-authors are always in dialogue with the public. They are poised between manifestations of character, contemporary and cultural mythology, historical topoi, and the simple act of being there and putting into play one’s perturbing relationship with history and culture, in a game of sleek wrong footing that debunks rhetoric without no quarter given, not even to themselves. “Our dialogue with the public is based on a co-existence with our audience, on what we share with you, here, today: the same hypocrisies, the same clichés, the same fears, the same neuroses, the same fate.”
For Panorama Roma this year they work on Ella Hickson‘s The Writer, opening the doors of their creative yard to the public.
The Writer is a meta-theatrical drama about a young writer who challenges the status quo but discovers that creative gain comes at a personal cost. The play starts in a theatre auditorium with an encounter between a Young Woman, who has come to watch a play, and an Older Man, who is part of the theatrical establishment. Pushed to say if she enjoyed the play, the Young Woman concedes that she has a different view of theatre from that which prevails: she sees it as a sacred space with a political purpose, and rails against the patriarchal orthodoxy that sexualises female performers and fails to reflect real life. The Older Man responds by suggesting she might write something herself, and in subsequent scenes, operating at several different levels of reality, we see how the suggestion plays out as the Writer faces up to the many obstacles in the way of realising her vision.
Ella Hickson is an award-winning writer whose work has been performed throughout the UK and abroad. Her play Oil opened The Almeida Theatre in October 2017 and her most recent show The Writer opened there in Spring 2018. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and twice a MacDowell Fellow. She is developing new work for The National Theatre, The Old Vic and Manhattan Theatre Club. She is also developing various projects for TV and film.