Is evil inside or outside of us? It is really hard to understand, since evil has its own seducing power: it attracts while scaring. Our difficult and dark relationship with reality is what Philip Ridley was always interested in, even when directing movies like “The reflecting skin” and “The passion of darkly noon”, on the knife-edge of our evolution between truth and fantasy, between the ghosts of our past and the ones surrounding us, especially if life scarred us, like it did with Presley and Haley Stray, protagonists of this 1991 play.
Left orphans when their parents mysteriously disappeared, the two twins shut themselves up in their apartment, where they stuff with sedatives, pretending to be survivors in a destroyed post-apocalyptic world. One day somebody enters their lives: a night-club entertainer who makes a living around people’s desire for horror. With him, a true monster, a sort of elephant man. Is it just a projection of our protagonists or a real encounter? It is definitely the staging by Elena Vannoni that offers an original key to the reading, though facing a script that is unequal between first and second part. Elena Vannoni gives us an excellent vision in a balance between a veristic interpretation and a surreal transfiguration, sometimes with grotesque traces. So leaving to the audience the task of finding an answer to the questions, masterfully kept suspended, without any judgement.
Some staging solutions are particularly remarkable, as the attempt to confuse the audience through the displacement of the scenic elements (chairs, front door, window, etc). The actors follow very well this ambiguity, especially the two main characters, Presley Stray, played by Andrea Peghinelli, and Cosmo Disney, played by Francesco Mastrorilli. At the end, all the actors show the quality of their efforts.
in Corriere della Sera