written by Fabrizio Sinisi
with Christian Di Domenico
sociology consultant Domenico Bizzarro
concept & direction Gianpiero Alighiero Borgia
Freely inspired by the Greek myth of Heracles, the quintessential strongman, this is a play about a man like so many, a good family man, a happy husband whose life stumbles over an unexpected event and then crumbles. In telling a small and intimate story, it shares the confused feelings of fear and anger that fill our society and which in so many cases collapses into violence.
Working with performer Christian Di Domenico, TB has set up a system for field research with the charity Caritas and in particular with I Gatti Spiazzati, an NGO in Milan which organises city walks guided by people who are redundant, unemployed, homeless or in other situations of hardship, who help others to see the city through their eyes. TB believes that myth should not interpret reality but that it is reality that should ask the questions that we try to answer through the reactivation of myth. In this rewrite by Fabrizio Sinisi, TB questions the narrative of the classical hero by making a parallel with an iconic figure of today: the marginalised and forgotten at the bottom of society. In raising the voice of the many who are invisible and erased, TB explores the challenges for separated parents in particular and the economic, social, psychological barriers they face every day.
This project’s depth and its aim of sharing this emotional journey with the audience requires an immersive performance to be designed that reflects the experiences of real life. Hence the decision by director Gianpiero Borgia to set Hercules the Invisible Man in a large tent that holds an audience of 25 participants/spectators at a time. The tent is a distribution point, where blankets, hot meals and drinks are handed out, which can be set up in the vicinity of the host theatre or in a nearby deprived area. The audience is taken to the tent where they are welcomed by the actor.
Connecting with today’s social and psychological dynamics that we wanted to explore, as the central theme of Hercules the Invisible Man we chose the situation of separated fathers in our country, men who find themselves rejected and marginalised by society.
In classical mythography, Heracles is the uber strongman, the mighty hero who lived in the times before the Trojan War, embodying the righteous man who progresses towards civilisation and reaches it by defeating the forces of nature.
Heracles may be a hero but he is also, especially in the Euripides version whose angle we have taken, a man who suffers, marked by continuous trials. He makes mistakes to the point of losing himself totally when, by the will of Hera, he becomes prey to Lissa, goddess of anger, and falls into homicidal insanity.
Heracles the Invisible narrates the path of the ‘economic human being’ protagonist of our times, continuously and obsessively subjected to an infinite string of trials, forced in spite of himself to ignore normal life, reduced to his bare economic function, stripped of all that is constitutive of a human being.
Gianpiero Alighiero Borgia
Christian Di Domenico, is a theatre and film actor, director and acting teacher, born in Monza. He graduated in 1990 as an actor from the School of Theatre in Bologna, under the direction of Alessandra Galante Garrone. From 1990 to 1993 he attended the Paolo Grassi Civic School of Dramatic Art Paolo in Milan. From 1997 to 1999 he attended the ‘School after Theatre’, led by Jurij Alschitz, a three-year specialisation course aimed at professional actors and directors, at the end of which he stayed on with Alschitz as a teacher within the school and for international laboratories in Moscow, Oslo, Berlin and the United States. In June 2001, with Gianpiero Borgia he founded La Compagnia delle Formiche (Company of Ants), and since then he has been involved in training, teaching in Italian schools and becoming Didactic Coordinator at ITACA (International Theatre Academy of the Adriatic). He has worked, among others, with Jerzy Stuhr, Massimo Navone, Giorgio Marini, Giuseppe Bertolucci, Marco Baliani, Gabriele Vacis, Elio de Capitani, Teresa Ludovico, Antonio Albanese, Alessio Bergamo and Mariano Dammacco. He has toured the show U Parrinu. La mia storia con padre Pino Puglisi ucciso dalla mafia (The Priest: My Story with Father Pino Puglisi Murdered by the Mafia) since 2013 (more than 400 performances, including theatres, churches and schools). He has also toured the play Nel mare ci sono i coccodrilli (In the Sea There Are Crocodiles), adapted from the novel by Fabio Geda, since 2015 (more than 180 performances).
Since 2000 he has collaborated with Teatro dei Borgia, focusing on Russian theatre methods and practice as a professional path for art theatre.