Misterman

English Extracts

“The actor’s skill makes the most of the character’s soul: an ambiguous plot of innocent appearance and maniacal outlook.” (Maria Chiara Fratoni, www.paurankaradio.it, 28 March 2012)

“Misterman completely makes the spectator penetrate into Walsh’s play (translated by Lucia Franchi), representing its tragedy, without giving up slight ironic provocations or a Roman spirit – already ingrained in the actor- which lightly marks out the characters and their voices, as well as the world they move in. (…). We remain in suspense waiting for the terrible act, testified by every scenic elements but always unspoken, to be eventually revealed.” (Matteo Antonaci, 30 March 2012)

Luca Ricci’s effective direction, is based on old tape recorders (the inhabitants’ voices) and Roja is good among various registers and characters, starting from Thomas, polite and stiff, lost in his invisible labyrinths where the border between normality and deviance is unstable”. (Anna Bandettini, La Repubblica, 01 April 2012)

Alessandro Roja, under the director’s guidance, does a remarkable work on his character. (…) The audience of the overflowing Teatro Belli, for the Trend Festival, is charmed by Roja’s transformations on stage: he plays with intense involvement his character- a little nerdy, laughed at by everyone. (…) With Roja, who exploits the opportunities Luca Ricci gives to him (for example- carrying up and down the stage a pole with a tape recorder like the cross of Christ on Golgotha), the game at a certain point becomes metatheatrical: the actor repeats his lines, retraces his steps, wrong foots the public who falls into the trap thinking it is a real mistake. But no, it is only a way to underline again that Thomas “Misterman” Magill’s day is a recurring nightmare that he has been living through so many times. A successful experiment especially for the disconcerting topicality of the play, which is emphasized by the staging.” (Simone Pacini, www.klpteatro, 7 April 2012)

“Convincing and full of enthusiasm Alessando Roja’s performance who creeps up with quivering mimetic ability on his character’s most hidden and unconfessable depths, from his immaculate childhood sullied by the indifferent and gratuitous wickedness of the surrounding world (“being an only kitten in a town full of dogs would be a terrible curse”) to the murderous rage of a blind avenger; the young Roman actor confidently plays diametrically opposed characters and attracts the audience’s attention (…). A remarkable original play with strong impact, undoubtedly important and topical in a world still tortured by religious fundamentalisms, staged by CapoTrave Company and Alessandro Roja in a refined and effective way.” (Andrea Cova, www.saltinaria.it, 15 September 2012)

“Congratulations to the young and talented Alessandro Roja, who is able to transform himself with great ability from one play’s character to another and to make the protagonist’s crazy talk credible.(…). The sound effects are very evocative and their “harshness” makes the spectators clearly outline in their minds the unseen scenes they are listening to, perceiving perfectly the dramatic tension and the emotional level.” (Nicoletta Fabio, www.persinsala.it, 25 March 2013)

“Luca Ricci makes the resonances of the play (translated by the company’s playwright Lucia Franchi) emerge and appear with all their restlessness: he sets the action in a dark, empty space, only seldom dispelled by pictorial lights, which seem to underline the highly symbolic- almost biblical- aspect of the story. Also the few objects in the scene are meaningful: the tape recorders seem to multiply and expand under the spectators’ eyes, a suspended suit looks like the evocation of a hanging, a table metonymically represents home.” (Maddalena Giovannelli, www.stratagemmi.it, 30 March 2013)

“From this show we resurface steeped in a way of thinking which shakes our simplifications and convenient categories (built in order to defend our reassuring certainties and simple prejudices), becoming receptive to the Maelstrom of the restlessness enclosed in everyone: that is to say, we feel alive by finely observing and vibrantly hearing the problematic impulses that could overwhelmed a person, dragging even us .” (Damiano Pignedoli, www.dramma.it, 24 May 2013)

The crude, immediate, sharp play by Irish author Enda Walsh, one of the best contemporary playwrights, reaches intensely the audience thanks to Alessandro Roja’s exceptional interpretation.
Cleverly directed by Luca Ricci, Roja is able to represent protagonist Thomas Magill’s world, keeping a constant tension and reaching great intensity. Katia Titolo’s setting is made by few and essential objects which host Thomas and help him during his telling.
The stage is full of dark atmosphere around the protagonist – also thanks to the skillful lighting design.
Misterman is a courageous, disturbing and indispensable show, not to be missed. (Tamara Malleo, www.recensito.net, 23 October 2013)

Alessandro Roja brings us inside an ordinary day of an ordinary Irish village. It is the first monologue in his career, and it is the first Italian version of Irish Enda Walsh’s Misterman – translated by Lucia Franchi, Luca Ricci is the director, both founders of the CapoTrave theatre company . A difficult actor proof: Roja brilliantly has got through it.  All with the right tension and a touch of humor to lighten this morbid protagonist and his subtle uneasiness. A violent and tender show at the same time. (Francesco Garozzo, La Stampa, 24 October 2013)

Misterman, Irish play by Enda Walsh, has been skillfully directed by Luca Ricci using two simple ideas (brilliantly created).
First idea: the choice of the actor Alessandro Roja, who has represented with remarkable intensity many characters without disguises and scene changes, but only thanks to his minimal and meaningful gestures, few movements and changes in the tone of his voice.
Second idea: a minimalist scenery with some tape recorders, a table and a hanged suite. (Vittorio Nava, www.voceditalia.it, 31 October 2013)

Only one man, many characters. His neighbors, his father, his acquaintances, his mother (above all his mother), evoked by a tape recorder, with whom Thomas- Misterman, the protagonist, talks together like a nightmare repeating itself endlessly. Alessandro Roja, directed by Luca Ricci, skillfully mixes these ingredients during Misterman, Irish Enda Walsh’s play. This intense and courageous show puts the audience in the face of the weak limit which separates virtue from obsession. (Silvia Calvi, Donna Moderna, 31 October 2013)

An actor (Alessandro Roja), who really wants to put himself to the test, a director (Luca Ricci)who is able to interpret a text, an author (the Irish Enda Walsh)who knows how to tell the devastation of our time with absolute clearness. Misterman is a high intensity show.
Enda Walsh’s play is skillfully disturbing.
Luca Ricci’s direction is mostly based on sounds. The recorded voices whom Thomas talks with in his delirium, the dogs’ barking, the sinister noises coming from the daily buzz, describe the obscure space of a mind.
A table, a patched up chair, a tape recorder mounted on an old antenna, a suit hanging from the ceiling like the father’s ghost, are the only objects of an empty stage where clues of an impending tragedy are sown.
Alessandro Roja works on this difficult role undoubtedly without sparing himself. He is credible in his feverish transformation from good boy to crazy murderer, nourished by a malaise that from the stage goes straight to the audience. (Sara Chiappori, La Repubblica – Milano, 1 November 2013)

Irish playwright Enda Walsh’s monologue is heartbreaking. The director Luca Ricci stages Walsh’s Misterman, casting eclectic Alessandro Roja whose ability to bring different characters to life and to follow Thomas’ delirium makes a deep impression. Ricci’s direction is simple and effective. (Valeria Palumbo, www.teatro.persinsala.it, 1 November 2013)

In Misterman- by Enda Walsh, never performed in Italy and translated by Lucia Franchi- innocence turns into madness, through dark (physical and mental )places where the line between reality and imagination is very weak. Director Luca Ricci focuses on the dialogues between Thomas Magill and recorded voices coming from old tape recorders. Alessandro Roja’s actor proof is appreciable. (Francesca De Sanctis, L’Unità, 8 November 2013)

With his honest face and his limpid voice, Roja enters in the different characters’ lives, creating a relationship between live and recorded voices which is alienating for its compulsive repetition. A show that fascinates, like Gus Van Sant’s atmospheres, for the suspect of the horror before it is committed. (Valentina De Simone, www.cheteatrochefa-roma.blogautore.repubblica.it, 11 November 2013)

A complex play, sustained by crude and scathing writing. Alessandro Roja penetrates into the protagonist’s ambiguity and he is able to convincingly represent his swerves, uncertainties and devastating crisis. Roja uses a lot of energy but he weighs it without exceeding.
The bare set design is the right framework of this show which is definitely worth seeing. (Donatella Codonesu, www.teatroteatro.org, 13 November 2013)