Winner of the 2022 Ubu Prize for the best new Italian text, Eighty-nine by Compagnia Frosini/Timpano is a work that focuses on the current crisis of Democracy in relation to both the French Revolution and the year 1989, which marks the opening phase of our own era, as they are seen today when the very concept of revolution seems to have lost its relevance.
1789: the Revolution explodes in France, spreads throughout Europe, and indelibly marks the world in which we still live. But what remains of that Revolution, 230 years later?
Elvira Frosini and Daniele Timpano, a couple of award-winning authors, directors and actors of the Italian contemporary scene, through their acute and ruthlessly ironic writing, critically observe the Western cultural system in an attempt to unmask all its rhetoric and its founding myths. On stage they are joined by Marco Cavalcoli, Ubu 2022 Award winner as best actor.
Past and present, French history and Italian history, modernity and postmodernity all overlap following a path that aims to undermine our "democratic" lives and the imaginary world linked to the concept of revolution. Is a revolution still possible today? And how?
“Eighty-nine”, explain Frosini/Timpano, “does not aim to tell a story, or even to relate history, but rather to delve into a founding myth, into the cultural materials that produced it and which, in turn, it has since produced. Ours is a viewpoint of Italians, of cousins of our neighbours across the Alps, the viewpoint of a people who were, at that time, their poorer, less developed relatives, who had to be freed and brought into the civilized world. However, we didn't make the French Revolution. On the contrary, we partially suffered because of it. But ours is also the viewpoint of Western Europeans, because, despite everything, we are still the heirs of that Revolution. Our democracies, today's Europe, and the whole world we live in was founded then."