Made in ILVA - The Contemporary Hermit

In a fusion of intense physicality, vocalisation and performance, we open to a backlit monk-like figure chanting in Italian. A religious introduction to the story of a manual worker labouring in factory hell. Here, we learn that economical necessity keeps him there though he yearns to leave.

The intention of the piece was confusing at times, drifting between being a protest commentary at the IVLA tragedy at the Italian steelworks and everyman’s plight.

In a taut solo performance, Nicola Pianzola takes us on a dramatic journey. The harshness of the daily grind is juxtaposed with nightmares, deaths of fellow workers and dreams of sunlit air. Pianzola‘s performance is mesmerizing as he writhes, twists and drapes himself through a steel cage creating forms and rhythms reminiscent of the dehumanising influence and hopelessness of production work.

While he moves and stamps, he calls out, creating new repetitive beats which remind us of the universal plight of a ‘sweatshop’ economy. The intention of the piece was confusing at times, drifting between being a protest commentary at the IVLA tragedy at the Italian steelworks and everyman’s plight. Shifting projections on the floor provided clues but not always enough to keep us engaged throughout the performance when the repetitions and simplified vocals were overlong. However, it is an exciting production and to watch the performance of Pianzola combining physical strength, flexibility with emotional vocalisation in an intimate setting is a compelling experience.

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The Blurb

Inspired by the ILVA steelworks scandal and the eye witness accounts of the Italian steelworkers, this performance is a perfect combination of extreme physical action, sound and rhythm, original music, live voice and video projection. It is an international multi-award winning masterpiece of physical theatre, an innovative example of contemporary bio-mechanics, and an emotional and poetic exploration of the condition of a human body reduced to an artificial machine. A critique of the impact of industry on the environment expressed through the visual and physical theatre by this world-touring ensemble.