The sandman

Caprice in the manner of Hoffmann

by Consuelo Battiston, Gianni Farina, Alessandro Miele

direction Gianni Farina

music Stefano De Ponti

lighting and technical direction Robert John Resteghini

with Tamara Balducci, Consuelo Battiston, Tolja Djokovic, Francesco Ferri,

Alessandro Miele, Mauro Milone

assistant director Chiara Fallavollita

costumes Elisa Alberghi

company technician Sergio Taddei

stagehand Andrea Bulgarelli

photography Arianna Lodeserto

drawing and graphics Marco Smacchia

scenes created in the workshop of Emilia Romagna Theatre Foundation

production Emilia Romagna Theatre Foundation, Festival delle Colline Torinesi,

European Union Culture Programme within the Progetto Prospero


This Capriccio is, first of all, a labyrinth.
It is a game of Chinese boxes, an endless story in which to lose oneself.
It is the tableau vivant of a still life.

In Hoffmann’s tale the characters fade into the grey folds of everyday life, like automatic reflexes of the same individual. The restlessness generated by the Fantastic, the Disturbed, the Bizarre pushes the student Nathaniel towards a reckless awareness of this dulling mechanism, but an enormous gulf exists between desire and action. Neurosis supplants the contemplation in the eternal conflict between inner images and the outer world.

The formal challenge consists of lighting a magic lantern capable of appearing and disappearing; a bearer of paradoxical overlapping contexts, calling into question – in a Hoffmannesque manner – what our eyes witness: the constructed frame that we call reality.

Benevolent spectator,
Do you like this preview?
Perhaps a little too intimidating. Although, the conclusion of “Benevolent spectator, do you like this preview?” shifts the form of address, don’t you think?
Pity that what we define as “the conclusion” is not a real conclusion. And so on, further phrases, like this or others, will follow the expression “and so on”.
Apologies for all this beating around the bush, but we are simply unable to conclude this speech, we just can’t get our heads around it.
Even as the situation comes to a head, the problem remains unresolved.
How can it really be finished off?
Well, one could write “the end”, if only these words were part of the finale.
Alas, no, these words constitute nothing more than a preview of the show.
How about this: suspend proceedings, we’ll talk about it after the show.
If only we were talking!
But the idea’s not bad, that is, the idea implicit in the statement “suspend proceedings”.
Let’s listen, if one may say “let’s listen” in reference to the silence of the printed word.
Perhaps “follow it” is more apt and even sounds better. But let’s forget about sounds, let’s follow it finally without adding anything after the exhortation “follow