F**K Freud by Lucio Veronesi
What is it?
F**K Freud is a new original script partly based on the life of a young Italian actor/playwright finding his way in London.
What is it about?
The cast break the fourth wall right off the bat in order to introduce the piece. It is made clear that this is a play based on the lead character's real life and that he also wrote it.
We follow our young Italian stallion, Leone (played honestly and grippingly by Lucio Veronesi) as he navigates his new life after moving to London, graduating from drama school, and trying to make it as an actor. We see the absurd, yet painfully accurate, auditions he has to go on, the stereotypical boxes he gets type cast into, and his money seeking agent pushing him in directions that he does not want to go in. Leone struggles with finding his own unique identity in a foreign culture where he yearns to be so much more than just the Italian mob boss or Super Mario Bros.
As the play goes on, his life seems to become more and more absurd as a ball goes missing, he spontaneously breaks up with his girlfriend, Amazon's Alexa speaks back, and Mario visits him in his dream with walking sound effects encouraging him to accept an acting job.
The play presents what it means to be your early twenties and the different challenges we all face, all the while acknowledging that his mountain is someone else's mole-hill, but that doesn't make his problems any less real or painful.
How did it make me feel?
Whether you're an actor, a playwright, in your twenties, in the arts, or have ever been any of those things, this play will hit home - especially if you are not from London.
Veronesi captures the emotions of the jobbing actor all the while adding a semi-existential crisis to the plot in which most people in the arts can relate to.
One of the themes that has a particularly big impact is Leone's desire to be seen as much more than just "the Italian", because he is so much more (not to mention his English is impeccable and his accent is so soft). London is a very international city with people coming from all over the globe to creative a successful life here. Anyone who is "other" (or does not have a British accent) can empathise with Leone, as he speaks to so many of us.
Veronesi does a masterful job of creating the real world mixed with slight absurdity and produces fully developed characters which are brought to life splendidly by Siobhan Gallagher, Robbie Fletcher-Hill, and Jason Imlach.
The set is eye-catching because at first the audience is unaware of what it is. It soon becomes apparent that the frame of the stage is constructed of pizza boxes. This has a great effect as it looks like domino's stacked onto one another, and could topple at any minute, reflecting the fragile state of a struggling twenty-something. The pizza boxes also represent the way young people in the arts often live: basic, cheap, and eating pizza. It was a great payoff when the actors do, in fact, eat pizza out of one of the boxes. The boxes also aid in a flexible set allowing the stage to easily transform to different locations.
The cast play multiple roles and the individuality they apply to each of them is terrific. A round of applause is needed for the ingenuity of Veronesi and the talent of the cast to create and bring to life several different character-types on stage.
F**k Freud is directed by Griffin Mosson and is done so in such a specific and detailed way. It is shocking that this is Mosson's directorial debut; he clearly has a bright future ahead of him.
F**k Freud is playing at the Tristan bates Theatre until the 7th December 2019.
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