The children Alice, Riccardo and Maria arrived the evening before. The elder brother Roberto too; for a weekend in Silvio’s countryside house, at the entrance of the depopulated village, where he has lived alone for three years. In solitude, Silvio has acquired a good number of manias, the most serious of all: he no longer wants to walk. He does not want to get up.
He wants to stay and live seated as much as possible. And alone. The children, who have not worried about it much till now, have to decide what to do, how to deal with it, how to dissuade him from this gloomy, radical position. Here and there, empathy and distance emerge between the two generations of children. A day of reckoning, mutual boredom but despite everything brotherhood, for what it’s worth, generally less, a lot less than what everyone would like. They come for the mass to celebrate ten years since the death of the mother... There are things to commemorate, to say, to agree on, to coordinate speeches. It is certain that fallen prey to his isolation, in Silvio’s head there is a certain confusion between wishes and reality, with no one to contradict him in his daily life, life can be exactly as he decides it should be. Up to a certain point.
This show, which has found in the Father figure the interpreter Silvio Orlando (for me unexpected and wonderful at the same time), finds its roots in a plague, a curse, a specific pathology of our time that I personally, have known, all too well. Socio-psychology has given it a name: "SOCIAL SOLITUDE".
It seems that it kills more than obesity. To highlight the risks of this situation two studies were presented at 125th annual meeting of the American Psychological Association (APA). To be isolated from society is a dark and insidious wickedness. As human beings, all of us in fact, need contact with others, a need that allows us to survive. The concern arises even more if you think that this type of "extreme solitude" is expanding and will continue to grow in the coming years since the life expectancy of the population is increasing and the elderly are ever more numerous. According to the experts we could find ourselves struggling, and not only in the richer countries, with an epidemic of loneliness which is now widespread even among young people.
According to me, Silvio Orlando is a unique actor. For his absolute showdown on stage, he manages to trigger the empathy of every spectator, and with his exquisitely, tragicomic cords, he arouses questions, doubts, emotions and actions in his audience. At the same time we like to think that the spectators, thanks to a potential upheaval of the soul, we hope due to this performance, perhaps the same evening upon leaving the show, or maybe the next day, will call that Father, Mother, Brother, distant relative or friend now isolated again, and they will go to visit him, and make him come out of that home. Or only to keep him a little company.