On stage there is a woman, embodied by the talented and credible Viola Graziosi, daughter of Arte used to treading the stage. Dressed for almost the entire play in red, the color that characterizes the handmaids, she talks about the existence that she is forced to lead, under the watchful eye of her Aunts, sort of wolves in sheep’s clothing, who enslave and control her, harassing her. and her “sisters”.
Set in the near future, the story shows us women living under surveillance, divided into categories, even according to the color of their clothes. The Wives dress in blue, the Handmaids in red, the Aunts in brown; while the Mars – who are the Maids – wear green.
None of them can fail to fulfill their assigned duties: the penalty is deportation and, in the most serious cases, death. They all inhabit a “new world”, dictatorial, leaden, difficult, a world that – using their bodies – tries to legitimize itself, completely erasing the recent past.
On Earth, devastated by atomic radiation, the United States has become a totalitarian country, based on the control of the female body. The handmaids, the only ones still able to give birth to children, live mostly in silence, among spies, tears and pain.
That silence is often pierced by the screams of the women giving birth, destined to give birth to the children of the Commanders and their sterile Wives, in a birth staged as a primitive rite, the culmination of the violence suffered by the handmaids, forced to have relationships with men who ignore them , when they don’t even hate them.
Viola Graziosi is skilled at keeping the viewer glued to their seat, involving them, prodding them, almost as if wanting to provoke their reaction. She calls him into question with rhetorical questions that seem true, she asks out loud what Freedom is, what Love is; she addresses the audience with her face uncovered or under the large brims of the white hat she wears, a hat so bulky that it almost prevents her from seeing and being seen: the handmaid’s uniform, both protection and cage.
Riccardo Amorese’s music plays an essential role, disturbing as it is, with the high volume leading to very attentive listening. The direction is by Graziano Piazza, the production is Teatro della Città, the text is translated for Ponte alle Grazie by Camilla Pennati.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” will be on stage at the Filodrammatici Theater until January 14th.