Bright Azzuro Sea is a short digital play written and created in response to Covid-19 lockdown, providing a glimpse in the lives of an Italian mother and her three daughters, who live in the UK.
The three daughters, who are all in different locations in UK, are talking over a digital interface and as usual there is a lot of bickering especially between the eldest and the youngest… The mother joins in. Her hair is wet, she has a bad sunburn and talks from her car, defying Italian total lockdown rules. The daughters are worried about her, but Maria-Teresa, the middle daughter has a secret of her own.
With humour and a bit of drama, this play explores family relations during the lockdown, while touching upon themes of freedom, isolation, migration, and Italian diaspora. The sharp dialogues and the brief interludes of dramatic displays are entertaining as well as thought-provoking and invite for a collective reflection on the resilience and the challenges presented by the current pandemic, especially as experienced by women and those living apart, and in different countries.
This piece has been produced totally remotely with all cast and crew working from different locations in the UK and in Italy, and the footage has been recorded on mobile devices.
CAST AND CREATIVES
Produced by Lumenis Theatre Company
Lumenis Theatre company was founded in 2006 by international practitioners, who were interested in producing new and existing text-based plays as well as non-text based work by emerging artists. They produce theatre that is provocative and controversial, which calls for a fearless company willing to take creative risks.
They have a reputation to produce intercultural work that promotes diversity and inclusivity in the art. Based originally in London and Singapore, in 2016 they have made Colchester as their permanent base. Twitter: @lumenistheatre Facebook: Lumenis Theatre
Written and created by Mary Mazzilli
Having graduated from the Royal Court (taught by Simon Stephens) and Soho Theatre, Mary has written several plays that have been staged in both UK and China. Her work has received good recognition in both countries. Her most recent play, Priority Seating, a semi-verbatim play about migrants’ life in UK received Arts Council Funding and had a staged reading at the Mercury Theatre. Most of her writing touches upon multi-cultural and societal issues, such as dementia, social integration, and the difficulties met by marginalized groups such as the elderly and migrant communities. She enjoys experimenting with styles and language. Bright Azzurro Sea is her first ‘digital’ play.
She shares her writing with an academic career with research interests ranging from playwriting to Global and Multi-cultural theatre (especially Chinese contemporary theatre). She is a Lecturer in Drama and Literature at University of Essex.
Film Director: Sarah Akigbogun
Sarah Akigbogun is a London-based filmmaker, architect and actor. Sarah learned her craft as filmmaker whilst studying at the Architectural Association (AA) under Pascal Schoning whose Cinematic Architecture unit was about communicating the human experience of the city via the medium of film.
Since graduating from the AA Sarah has continued to make films across the genres of narrative, art and documentary.
Her work often focuses on female led stories, and investigations of urban life. Her last film She Draws: She Builds consists of interviews with 15 women talking about their lives as architects. Her first film following the AA was the ‘Policy 3’ takes the viewer on a part fictional journey along the River Thames weaving in and out past archival footage to compare the river’s past and current uses.
Previous project have included work with the award winning Mama Quilla Theatre company with whom she made the film ‘Escape’, written by Ann Akin. Sarah films have been shown widely across the UK and internationally, at events such as the London Festival of Architecture, Theatre of Protest at Theatre 503, Camden Roundhouse and Glasgow ArchiFringe. Sarah’s current film project, for which she has received support from Arts Council England, tells the stories of Female Architects of Colour. She is founder of theatre collective Appropri8, which seeks to work with communities to activate disused urban sites with performance.
Rehearsal Director: Fabiana Sforza
Fabiana Sforza is an Italian theatre-maker who moved to England at the age of 19, where she studied for her BA (Hons) in Drama and Literature and MA in Theatre Studies. In 2019, she founded her theatre company millennials and other terrible things and wrote and directed their first production, 10:31, MCR, which toured in Colchester, London and Edinburgh. In 2020, she wrote the company’s second production, Happy Thoughts for Rainy Days, and co-directed it alongside other company members.
Film Editor: Maria Karma Christodoulou
Maria (Karma) Christodoulou is a second-year film student at the University of Essex. She’s worked on a number of films during the past couple of years, most of which discuss themes associated with philosophy and psychology. She’s mainly worked as a DoP but her interests lie in all aspects of this field and other related practice.
Finishing Editor: Chris Williams
Chris Williams is a graduate of Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he trained as a theatrical production engineer and stage manager. He has been a touring sound engineer and then a corporate audio-visual production manager in recent years. Now employed at the Lakeside Theatre, Colchester, he is working closely with staff and students to create new theatre. During the COVID 19 pandemic, he has been able to turn his hands to using his skills online by producing and editing videos and short films for the university and for theatre-makers in the Colchester area, who needed someone who can help translate their visions for the stage on to screen.
Mother: Maggie Evans
Maggie started her career in education and worked as a headteacher . She then decided to pursue her dreams and trained at Rose Bruford to become an actor.During the last two years she has worked on stage in film and T.V . Her latest roles are : Mrs Lynde in a production of “The Dolls House” Ibsen Duchess of York in Shakespeare’s Richard 3rd ( Jorvik theatre company); The player king in “Hamlet” Runestone pictures; Athena in “The Odyssey “ Obverse Films. She has recently worked with Popelei Theatre company in Bristol as a finalist in the “Women in Lockdown “project – performing a one woman monologue “The Kings” written by Emma Williams. She lives in Doncaster South Yorkshire – is a northern based actor and enjoys keeping fit and walking her very energetic Cockapoo.
Ilaria: Eugenia Caruso
Theatre includes: Berberian Sound Studio ( Donmar Warehouse), Redefining Juliet (Barbican); The Taming of the Shrew (Arts); Luna Park (StoneCrabs at Soho/Edinburgh Fringe Festival); Hurried Steps (New Shoes Theatre company at Dukes/Finborough); Truckstop (Eastern Angles and Company of Angels at Unicorn/Hampstead/Edinburgh Fringe Festival).
Film includes: The Witches ( by Robert Zemeckis For Warner Brothers) , In Fabric ( by Peter Strickland for Rook Films and Film4) ; The Duke of Burgundy ( by Peter Strickland for Rook Films); Berberian Sound Studio; (by Peter Strickland for Warp Films and illuminations); Youth (by Paolo Sorrentino for Indigo Films) ; Chasing Robert Barker ( By Daniel Florencio)
Television includes: Avenue 5( Armando Iannucci for HBO); The Alienist season 1 ( Paramount and Netflix )
Maria-Teresa: Julie Martis
Julie Martis is a Scottish actor working in film and theatre. Recent credits include Mae in ‘Till The Violets Come’ directed by BAFTA-nominated Kerry Anne Mullaney, and the award-winning short film ‘Bunny’, recently broadcast on BBC.
Serena: Faye Bishop
Faye is an Actor/Singer/Theatre-Maker based in London. She is a Co-Founder of Propolis Theatre (Spill, Bristol Old Vic 2016) and a recent graduate of East 15 Acting School. Recent credits include: Spill: A Verbatim Show about Sex (Bristol Old Vic/Pleasance Theatre), The Spooky Ship (Bristol Old Vic) and Twin Paradox (Fluxphase Theatre). Credits whilst training include: Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), Ranevskaya (The Cherry Orchard) and Cavale (Cowboy Mouth by Sam Shepard).
"This is a beautiful and poetic insight into ageing from a very exciting writer…The plot of this finely tuned play is an excellent example of craftsmanship ..fantastic script"
"Mary Mazzilli's Magical Chairs is an intriguing fantasy."