Information / La Merda – ‘Cristian Ceresoli: «We’ll get nowhere without anger»’

by Caspar Hindse, interview with Cristian Ceresoli, Information _ ’Uden vrede kommer vi ingen vegne’ / ’We’ll get nowhere without anger’ _

The award-winning playwright Cristian Ceresoli is furious. Incorrect values have made it more desirable to be rich and famous than being a thinking and well founded person, believes the Italian who has summed up his anger in the critically acclaimed play ‘The Shit (La Merda)’

It is rare to encounter pure passion over a cup of lukewarm coffee in a theater foyer. But wildness shines out of playwright Cristian Ceresoli in the tiny and underexposed café at Husets Teater this afternoon – and the conversation is not many minutes old before Ceresoli delivers his first sharp characteristic of the modern human:

“I do not see myself as an Italian, but more as a citizen of the world, because no matter where I go with ‘The Shit (La Merda)’, I experience the same spiritual decay,” he says.

“Only few cares about the kind of culture that dares to ask questions, while most care about TV programs that make fun of so-called real people. But it’s the real people who look at this shit. They are so complacent that it almost hurts, and it makes me basically really angry. And actually, anger is necessary now because otherwise we humans get’s nowhere. “

Interview with Cristian Ceresoli in the Danish newspaper Information February 3 2015. ’Uden vrede kommer vi ingen vegne’/’We’ll get nowhere without anger’

All right, then we are started. Ceresoli’s play La Merda has in Danish gained the colloquial title The Shit and is an attempt to do up with the ideal, that you have to be rich and famous to be something.

– But we have heard about that before, have we not?

“Possibly, but that doesn’t mean that it goes away, just because we stop talk about it,” says Ceresoli and raises his voice:

“You Danes have no idea how privileged you are when it comes to support of the arts. Look what can happen in countries where culture does not receive massive injections. There may be a former clown running for parliament and get plenty of votes. “

A new mindset

The clown is the Italian comedian Beppe Grillo. When he was the big winner at the Italian parliamentary elections in 2013, he refused, however, to form a government. There are, according to Ceresoli, a straight line from this and to The Shit (La Merda), where a young, naked woman sits at a stage and lurches her needs of getting famous out.

In time, she becomes more and more desperate, and for Ceresoli both this woman and Beppe Grillo are a result of a society that previous generations have created:

“My parents’ generations have focused on one thing; objects. You wanted new cars or larger kitchens, but you forgot to pump money into literature, film and theater. It has given people fatter wallets, but we are all almost gone spiritually bankrupt. The results are evident today: Everyone wants to be rich and famous, but they do not care how they’ll get it – and that is, to put it in short, some kind of shit, “says Ceresoli, who also does not want to hear about that welfare improvements have created better conditions for the poorer sections of the populations in the countries around us:

“Rather poor in the bank account, but rich in experiences than vice versa. I do not see a real acceptable alternative to being a thinking and well founded human.”

Danica and drinking

All of the sudden, in the middle of the lecture on spiritual and cultural life, occurs a short break when Danica Curcic occupies the room. The talented actress is the woman behind the bare lead in The Shit (La Merda), and she must do make-up before the afternoon show.

“Well, you were out and get drunk yesterday?” smiles Curcic to Ceresoli, who suddenly throws away the flaming eyes, and with an almost apologetic glance looks down at the dictaphone, located at the table:

“Well, uh, we …”

He doesn’t get to say more because Curcic discovers the little dictaphone and regrets the sudden interruption. But it shouldn’t be like this and Ceresoli explains to the actress what a nice a place Denmark is and that there’s many nice people. Curcic smiles – still a bit puzzled –

Interview with Cristian Ceresoli in the Danish newspaper Information February 3 2015. ’Uden vrede kommer vi ingen vegne’/’We’ll get nowhere without anger’

and trips to the locker room while Ceresoli turns with a grin full of memories. Then he draws breath in, and the eyes return:

“What I mean is, that we as humans have forgotten what reality is. Reality TV is not reality, it’s a game on a screen. This is where I think theater can offer something unique. A certain mood and a changeability, which results in things never being the same again. Theatre can challenge in new ways every single night, while reality TV has a template that is almost impossible to escape from. We know what will happen. An actor has much greater opportunity to influence his role, than a reality contestant has to influence his own identity. Theatre may be our last resort.”

The naked

For Cristian Ceresoli it was a paramount that the protagonist of The Shit (La Merda) should be naked. He thinks it does something crucial for our perception of the play.

“It’s interesting how much people think about that fact she is naked. See a regular TV programming. There is nudity everywhere, but in theater everything becomes more real, and it underlines my whole point,” says the director, before he start’s a quiet anger outburst:

“There is no longer any gentleness in being naked, because we get naked bodies thrown at us all the time. If this continues, you will one day be famous for being the one who didn’t take off your clothes. My hope is that in the future we will pay tribute to those who have something to say. Those who says something that might lead us to a greater understanding. Both politically and spiritually, and that’s why there is almost more tenderness and care in being angry, than in not wanting anyone but yourself something.”

Danica Curcic passes the table again. This time, almost stealthily. Ceresoli does not see her. He stares at the recorder and sighs deeply.

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