He filled houses last season with the theatrical version of the novel in which Elio Vittorini, in 1945, told of the Resistance in Milan, a story which involved him in first person. Carmelo Rifici has entrusted a cast of young actors with the roles of the young men and women who were involved in the fight against the Nazi-Fascist occupation.
The tormented love story between Enne2, the captain of the Milanese Patriotic Action Group, and Berta, married to a man she is unable to leave, is set against the backdrop of the atrocities of the conflict, with attacks organised by the Resistance and retaliation, with mass shootings, conducted with lucid cruelty by the Nazis led by Captain Clemm and the Fascist forces led by Cane Nero (Black Dog).
Written by Michele Santeramo, the theatrical reduction of Uomini e no forms part of the theatre’s offering of contemporary dramaturgy and underlines the profound tie between the Piccolo and the city, symbolised by the large-scale tram reconstructed in the auditorium.
"Milan - explains Rifici - is the realistic and metaphoric place where the historical events and private affairs of the characters take place, in a progressive dehumanization which however does nothing to quench the amazement, marvel and tenderness of human relationships".
On the publication of the novel, Elio Vittorini was heavily criticised, right from the title, which seemed to suggest a division between the two sides of the conflict in “human” and inhuman”, according to one’s side. In reality, Vittorini’s work, anything but Manichaean, has the great strength of «showing the contamination of violence - adds Rifici - an illness which contaminates both factions with a sense of a dangerous similarity. Nowadays it is very difficult to find such extreme ideological contrasts: unfortunately, that seed of indifference which Vittorini spoke of has exploded in full force».
2 hours and 18 minutes with an interval