The Advertiser / La Merda – ‘It is anti fascist as well as anti abuse’

by Tim Lloyd, The Advertiser Adelaide Festival of Arts _ Raging against a world of bad experiences _ It is anti fascist as well as anti abuse; against people who play for power over others. _ Certainly the whole piece is pushing boundaries of theatre in new ways.  _

Silvia Gallerano is stark naked, sitting on an oversized stool to make her look smaller.

She is worried. She thinks she is too small and her thighs are too large, but as this show proceeds we realise that her insecurity is much greater than that, and it comes from a world of bad experiences that afflict women in particular.

She speaks in a wavering, downtrodden loser’s voice with that brittle, bright laughter and studied gaiety that creates a theatre of unease.

We learn things about her in small grabs fitted among her bright chatter about auditions, diets, and torturous treatments for those thighs; we learn about contemplations of suicide, devastating experiences, and about all la merda — the shi** – that she has to eat.

Then we experience a supremacist rage, pent up and blowing out of her in a shocking, full-voiced crescendo. And not once but again and again as we see where the poison of her experiences has spread.

Cristian Ceresoli’s three part monologue is the view from the inside about how corrupting an individual’s trust in image, power and politics can be.

It is anti fascist as well as anti abuse; against people who play for power over others.

One of the saddest scenes is a playground tryst between her, aged 13, and a disabled boy who has recognised in her someone he can mould to his sexual need.

Like that, parts of this show are so politically incorrect that they come at you from unexpected angles. Certainly the whole piece is pushing boundaries of theatre in new ways.

To take us on this journey Gallerano has little more than a large mouth gashed with bright red lipstick and microphone technique, and she uses each with devastating effect.

Her cavilling, plaintive voice disguises an assemblage of voices and vocalisations that can make you shrink back into your seat.

La Merda, a hit in the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012, is quite rightfully Festival fare.

Adelaide Festival — Theatre

Space Theatre, until March 8

La Merda_The Advertiser

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