Teatro Sotterraneo presented an absorbing two-hander about two thirty-something actors living in Florence that was essentially an Orwellian ‘Down and out in London and Paris’ for the modern age, though set in Florence where they live.
Like Orwell’s work, it was prophetic. It strayed disturbingly from theatre to real life and back.
The use of the song Perfect Day was probably a ‘tongue in cheek’ assessment – she is exhausted after a bad night’s sleep and a verbal apocalyptic nightmare delivered in Italian between bouts of wakefulness prophesying doom and blood on the sun, while he skipped, was a perfect backdrop for the horror of the day to come. He lost his job, she fell asleep on the train on her way to visit her parents and go to a job interview, he disturbed a robber prepared to kill or be killed over a tin of beans, and if this is how young Italian people spend their time it’s a travesty – as actors too; undervalued arts professionals eking a living in casual employment or underemployment – this was the doom she predicted in her early morning tirade.
It just so happened, entirely coincidentally, that David Cameron was at a conference about youth unemployment where across the Eurozone the figures are more than 25 per cent unemployed – never mind underemployed. It was also the week when another eight per cent was lobbed off the ailing British Government arts budget.
So this apposite show aimed to show just what a perfect day might look like – looked at from either of the two levels identified. These are two working professional actors presenting the horrors of an aimless, workless, cashless, hopeless generation, like Stella Gibbons’ cows - and this was food for thought.