The Story, the Revolution, the Coincidence

It is the story of two “royal guards,” firm and immobile in their position, despite many unchanging years of service. Interacting casually, they discover imperceptible progressive commonalities made of passions and shared interests, such as jazz. Together they decide to rebel and act against the Queen they serve. They will envision their revolution, and hypothesize it. They will plan the day of the coup, the moves, the methods, and the best strategy to overthrow the “queen” and strip her of the excessive right to choose for everyone. An impeccable plan to “take her out,” crushed her heart and mind just as it would be in their nature as Nutcrackers towards nuts. Yet, they will always remain faithful to their duty, to their immutable position as guards, standing in front of the royal gates of society. But every action, even the slightest, even a small touch, will change the balance and have consequences. Which could be bitter, or not.

We were at the beginning of the 16th century, a great wooden soldier, with the sole function of crushing nuts, was built by a Germanic population as a symbol of protest against the oppressions suffered by their rulers and their militia. A nutcracker, a revolution.
The iconic soldier became over time the protagonist first of a tale by Ernst Hoffman and then of a work by Alexander Dumas. What made him immortal was subsequently Tchaikovsky’s wonderful ballet. But what if, in reality, one Nutcracker wasn’t enough and we had to discover a version “in the
plural”? If the canons of that immortal ballet were questioned, and the answer was jazz? Two Nutcrackers, then, for two revolutions: one social, the other musical.
In the early years of our theater company’s history, we felt the urgency to address a theme that makes the whole world sigh: power. It concerns us always, from antiquity to today, as an animal species and as a civilized society. It fascinates us, corrupts us, makes us know the nature of our deepest “self,” tempers we didn’t believe we possessed. And together with power, the theme of the “political” and the discontent of the people. In “Due Schiaccianoci,” power is social: the Queen is our society, a metaphor for a non-existent collectivity, always and in any case dominated by a few individuals. It prevents us from expressing our true potential. It makes us silent, still, and immobile; it makes us different but in homogenization. And it governs us with pre-established rules, social conventions, and banned passions. A contemporary story, that concerns us all today, but told following the footsteps of 1920s surrealism.

Alice Bertini
directed by Alice Bertini, Carlotta Solidea Aronica
with Federico Gatti, Michele Breda
production by Società per Attori, Poveri Comuni Mortali
lighting design by Marco D’Amelio
costumes by Annarita Romeo
hats by Marilena Fantozzi
set design by Leonardo Barroccu
organization by Valeria Iovino
social media management by Eduardo Rinaldi, Mattia Lauro

winner of the Roma Fringe Fest 2023 for Best Show, Best Direction, and Press Award, winner of the Best Actor Award shared by Federico Gatti and Michele Breda at the Festival Indivenire 2023

duration 55′

Poveri Comuni Mortali
: We met in 2015 at the STAP Academy (School of Theater and Performing Arts) of the Brancaccio in Rome. After several theatrical performances following the school, we attempted to take the big leap by forming a company. It should be understood tha teach of us also maintain our professional autonomy, especially in the case of acting roles, but the production we manage to achieve when we are together as a company is what gives us the greatest satisfaction. The chemistry, shared vision of theater, and empathy, have bonded the group.There are seven of us: Valeria, Federico, Michele, Carlotta, Mattia, Eduardo, and my self, Alice. Our ages span a “temporalarc” from 25 to 29 years old, making us a company under30. Five years after the group was formed, the first successes have arrived, if we can call them that, with our first show “Tortellini e il giorno in cui furono inventati” winner of the Extreme Contemporain 2020 play writing award and finalist for the Attilio Corsini Award 2021, and with “Due Schiacchianoci” a show that won the Roma Fringe Fest 2023.