Using projection, live cameras and audience voting,
The twist at the end packs a real punch.
Michele is struggling with his sexuality, Germano with his gambling addiction. Ludovica’s here to escape her abusive husband, rich girl Ughetta’s battling depression, and Alessia doesn’t speak. Ever.
The company, Big Tree, are from Italy, so the performance is given in Italian, with subtitles projected onto a screen at the back. While the subtitles help the (assumedly largely English-speaking) audience over the language barrier, they detract from the show rather than add to it. The fast-paced, passionate arguments are difficult to follow and the presentation of the subtitles is simple and lazy. It would have been better to fit them into the style and themes of the show rather than simply leave them typed on a slide.
In between scenes, tweets from an imaginary audience reacting to the reality show are projected in place of the subtitles. While these are realistic and well-presented, they are badly timed so we are often left sitting in front of a series of slides and nothing else. This, and clumsy scene changes are what let the production down. For a show that intends to draw the audience in and hold them in a trance, there’s a lot of distracting mistakes and long blackouts, making it easy to get distracted.
The performances are varied. Ughetta d’Onorascenzo as Ughetta is particularly powerful, giving both a measured, sensitive portrayal of her mental illness as well as providing a volatile, selfish element to the group. Although speechless, Alessia Amendola (who also co-wrote and co-directed the piece) as Alessia compels the audience to root for her.
The most original element of a reasonably overdone theme is the option for the audience to vote, totally anonymously, on the winner, meaning the twist at the end packs a real punch and almost negates any of the tired dialogue we’ve already sat through. #Realiti isn’t without some smart ideas, but poor production values and flat characters make it something of an ordeal to sit through.