script by Edoardo Erba
consultancy by Luca Mariani, author of Il silenzio sugli innocenti
directed by Serena Sinigaglia
sets Maria Spazzi
light design Roberto Innocenti
with Arianna Scommegna and Mattia Fabris
production Fondazione Teatro Metastasio di Prato
in collaboration with Teatro Ringhiera ATIR
under the patronage of the Royal Embassy of Norway in Italy
Writing a text on what happened in Utoya, Norway, in 2011 is an arduous task. Yes, indeed, that event was discussed too little and badly, and to a certain extent Mariani’s book fills a communications gap that was in a certain way scandalous. But the Theatre is not primarily the place to supply documentation and information; rather, it is the place for reflection. And reflection on an event of this kind produces concern: it is not the gesture of a madman, and yet at the same time it is. It is not political conspiracy, yet at the same time it is. It is not an example of inefficiency in the systems of defence, although it is. It is not a case of concealing information, however it is. When as a boy I opened the newspaper I had a grid, a bit rough perhaps, but it worked to classify what happened. This was good, that was bad. This was honest, that was corrupt. This was the right, that was the left. Here were the progressive thinkers, there were the conservatives. It seemed as though throughout the world a few simple categories were enough to frame an event and to give people the opportunity to find a way to react. But after 1989 the world became much more complex to interpret; after 2001, trying to understand an accident is like entering a maze.
What the Theatre – or rather, what my theatre script – can do inside this maze is find characters to negotiate it and to reflect it back to us through the filter of their personalities and their relations. So with Arianna, Mattia, Serena and Luca, my companions in this adventure, we decided to return there, to Norway, on that terrible day, July 22 2011, watching three couples caught up in different ways in what was happening. Through them, I will attempt to throw open a window of reflection. If it does not give us the thread we need to enable us to extricate ourselves from the maze, it will at least enable us, in flashes, to illuminate certain dark areas with the light of poetry.
Everything started with a book, "The silence on the Lamb" by Luca Martini, a journalist who doesn’t surrender to initial solutions, a reporter who persists in inspecting. It’s the 22th of July 2011, in Norway, when Anders Behring Breivik, ‘the monster’, unleashes hell. Eight people died by a car bomb in Oslo, a fact which was only a diversion, and then the real objective: 69 young Labour party members killed one by one on the island of Utøya, the ‘Nordic paradise’ historic base of summer camping of young Socialist party members from all over the world.
I had removed that facts. How did I forget such a serious and recent massacre, happened in the heart of a united and peaceful Europe? Why did I forget it? The answer has been a not very long time in coming.
The narration restored by media was falsified, one-sided and arbitrary: only one of the many tragedies caused by armed ‘madman’ like those which often happens in USA. In conclusion, that kind of facts on which you shake your head and go beyond, until you forget it.
Nothing could be more wrong. I discovered that the massacre was planned for many years, with lucidity and conscientiousness at the limit of manic. I discovered that it was not against a random objective, but against the heart of the young ‘promises’ of European Socialism. It was a politic massacre.
When I finished the book, I felt the strong wish that probably animated the author himself: we need to talk of these things, think about them, make them resound in our lives – which do not writhe the History, but live it. "Utoya" is the attempt to ‘make remembrance’ and denunciation without making just ‘civil theatre’. "Utoya" is with full title a contemporary tragedy.
Look at it is like look at Medea, Edipo or the Bacchants, with the only difference that what it is here told is really happened.
Maybe it could happens again if we do not pay attention to who we are, to which kind of society we are contributing to build and to the world we want to leave to our children.