“A crowded isolation” – Interview with René Fourés

"Questo tempo freddo e oscuro" ("This cold and dark time") is a play by the companies Lagotina from Lugano and Fourés-Rougier from Bellinzona, which will be at the Teatro Foce from 24 to 26 February. We talk about it with René Fourés.
14 February 2023
by Silvia Onorato
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The play “Questo tempo freddo e oscuro” is a collaborative creation by companies, Lagotina from Lugano and Fourés-Rougier from Bellinzona. What is taken on stage is a hypnotic mechanism: an almost impossible situation that hosts ghosts and dark sides of the characters, who prefer a marginal existence in madness rather than facing the meaninglessness of life. Imprisoned in their dynamics, or perhaps in an unhealthy marginalisation, a pair of siblings give voice to their interminable family dynamic. On stage, Valentina Barri, Ivano Torre and René Fourés, who also directed and wrote the script.

How did the play come about?
The show was born out of the need to find a metaphor for the situation all of us experienced over the last two years: isolation and self-isolation. The two protagonists are in a situation of total loneliness, where interaction with each other becomes very problematic.

The play is inspired by an experimental text by Tennessee Williams, “Out Cry”, written when the author was having a mental breakdown. How is this reflected in the characters?
The script is inspired by the situation evoked in Tennessee Williams’ text: two characters locked in a theatre room. I actually do not know how much William’s mental state originally impacted on their interaction. What is certain is that the two characters I created – totally locked up – are in a delicate state of mind.

Who are the two main characters?
They are a brother and sister who grew up in an oppressive family environment. Their father was a dominant figure and their mother was bullied by him. This triggered consequences that affected the two children. The male character managed to complete an education in literature and became a playwright, while the female character attended a theatre school and is an actress.

In addition to two actors on stage, there is also music. How does it fit into the drama?
Yes, in addition to Valentina Barri and I – who play the two siblings – Ivano Torre takes care of the sound effects and plays an acting part, the nature of which I cannot reveal.

Do we come out of the cold and dark time?
I cannot reveal that either. What I would venture to say is that our play embodies the two companies’ desire to show what we are experiencing at this particular moment in history. Our intention is not to give the audience a solution – that would be presumptuous. It will then be up to the audience to recognise or not recognise what they have seen, and to act or react accordingly.

“Questo tempo freddo e oscuro” is at the Teatro Foce from 24 to 26.02.
More information: foce.ch

Translation performed

with Google Translate.

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