Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 11–Sat 13 Jun
Romantic love, in all its weird and wonderful permutations, has formed the basis for so much theatre, that it is virtually impossible to avoid cliché when taking on this hoariest of subjects. Yet, Palazzo Theatre have come up with an innovative way of presenting l’amour on stage. The young, Glasgow-based company’s latest work, Vision/Aria, was inspired by the French literary theorist and philosopher Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, a list of fragments or ‘figures’ written from the point of view of a lover, some of which are drawn from literature.
As artistic director Flora Pitrolo points out, however, Barthes’ work was merely the initial catalyst for a piece that was assembled mainly from the company’s own reflections on the theme. ‘I presented the performers with the text, which formed the starting point for the piece,’ she says. ‘We had conversations about what these references meant to us, and we came up with our own everyday cultural references, things that are absolutely part of the way we live our lives – trash TV, film noir, pop music, sex chatlines. I took these conversations and translated them into my own visual vocabulary, worked them into a storyboard – it’s at that point that I shaped the work.’
Pitrolo, who hails from Palermo in Italy, and is on a mission to bring the European tradition of visual theatre to the Glasgow scene, is pleased to be part of what she sees as a growing movement towards creating work within strict budget limitations, of which the recent Tron Stripped season is just one example. In fact, she delights in creating theatre on a shoestring.
‘We don’t have a set – we don’t need a set,’ she says. ‘Light is very important to our work, but light is free remember. It’s not a night at the opera, it’s not about seeing and being seen, it’s about having something to say. And I like the idea of performing to a small audience of about 50 people – it’s much more intimate.’