Me, the couscous and Albert Camus


by Paola Berselli and Stefano Pasquini
with Paola Berselli, Maurizio Ferraresi and Stefano Pasquini
directed by Stefano Pasquini
produced by Teatro delle Ariette 2012


We decided to make this show to speak about nowadays. To serve this purpose we thought about telling a story that happened many yaers ago, when I was 17.
It is the story of a personal odissey made of meetings, discoveries, defeats and travels, from Bologna to France and from France to the Mediterranean sea: to Spain and Algeria.
It is a story of an education of a young 17-year old boy who goes to France following love.
He is housed by a spanish family that escaped to Algeria after the end of the civil war, then to France to run from Algerian Independence war.
In a few months during 1978's summer, I met 50 years of culture and history of the mediterranean countries, in a blend of different contexts, such as Italy in the years of terrorism, Spain of the Civil War and then under Franco's dictatorship, Alegria as a French colony first, then fighting for Independence.

Through the experience of love the streets of knowledge were opened to me, I tasted couscous for the first time and I discovered "The Stranger" by Albert Camus. A book that changed my life and put me in front of the neverending conflict between the natural and the social man.

Mersault, the main character of "The Stranger", is a man who refuses to lie and only obeys to natural laws. He lives a simple life avoiding social duties and conventions, He is true and honest until extreme consequences. Even in prison, after comdemnation for having killed a man, he lives his natural, lonely and sensual life made of skies and summer scents.
I was a young teenager and I totally identified with that man.

Past and present are connected and confused in this show: the past of the story we tell and the present of the performance we act. Since theatre is only in the present and only speaks about today, even if it narrates old stories.
And during the show we prepare the couscous. It is not traditional italian food, nonetheless couscous and pasta are really the same thing for me: tastes of memories that live in the present.
Maybe, before he was born, Stefano of the Ariette had spent some time in Algeria.
Maybe another life. Because yesterday and today are really the same thing.
Since time is not passing by, we do.

Stefano Pasquini