The Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, one of the seven national theatres in Italy which (among other things) runs courses in theatre studies, invited theatre-makers Jo Roets and Peter De Bie along with director and actor Michiel Soete to spend a few months in Modena between the summer and autumn of 2019 working with nineteen newly graduated actors. The idea behind this adventure was to introduce them to Laika’s ‘theatre of the senses’. The project takes as its starting point Cervantes’ world-famous classic ‘Don Quixote’, the story of a man’s unbridled imagination. The title ‘Tutto fa brodo’ is a typical Italian expression, meaning ‘you can make soup out of anything’ or, in other words ‘anything goes’.
‘Tutto fa brodo’ is a patchwork of scenes and stories inspired by the dreams and actions of the man-who-tilts-at-windmills. This collage is coloured by references to topical events, the actors’ own stories and references to cooking and eating. During the show the actors cut leeks and cucumbers, grate ginger, roast walnuts and squeeze lemons. In short, while acting and narrating, they prepare a full-scale meal which is served at the end.
What links all this together are a number of central themes from the novel that are still topical today. The thin line between truth and lies is one of them, as is the aversion to mediocrity and conformism. Just as Don Quixote recreates the world through his imagination, so too theatre can be a medium for the unexpected and free and for the overturn of deeply entrenched ideas.