London is a wonderful city to pursue a career in acting: some of the best theatres in the world, many important acting agencies, and great drama schools.
Being an actor is a call, like being a priest, or a doctor. I witness every day the dedication and the hard work of the young performers who follow their dreams, but not everything is bright and shiny: the truth is that the percentage of unemployed actors is high. Some of them take on unpaid roles, others take roles that they don't like, and 60% have to take a second job in a different industry to make ends meet. On top of the economic aspect, the uncertainty of having a job is “a perfect breeding ground for mental health issues”.
Lucio Veronesi, who wrote this somewhat autobiographical play in which he plays Leone, reports all of this, but with a smile. Lucio moved to London a few years ago, so, a lot of the humour in the play is about that. Being an expat can affect your sense of identity and belonging; but the sense of identity is crucial to one's mental and emotional health.
Leone is constantly stereotyped: at an audition, he is asked if he is related to Luciano Pavarotti, just because he is Italian. He gets a job in a Pepsi commercial as a Super Mario who is involved with the Mafia.
But is this what Leone dreams?
F**K Freud is satire at its best: the cast of four (along with Lucio, there are Siobhan Gallagher, Robbie Fletcher-Hill and Martin Coates), directed by Griffin Mosson, keeps the jokes flowing with fast-paced comic timing, showing great chemistry on the stage.
Matteo Iacoboni at the keyboard creates beautiful melodies, played before the start of the show and during the scene changes.
F**k Freud is clever, funny, engaging, thought-provoking, contemporary theatre. It is the theatre we want to see. And if it is true that humour is the quality to rout out the dark of life and create the beaming smile, well, we can say that Lucio Veronesi has accomplished this mission.
We cannot wait to see what’s next for him.