It is Romaine, the female protagonist of “Witness for the Prosecution”, by Agatha Christie: on Thursday 16th Vanessa Gravina will be at the Teatro Sociale in Stradella, while on Friday 17th, Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th she will take the stage at the Fraschini in Pavia. She is a kaleidoscopic actress, able in her career to divide herself between theatre, cinema and television.
A full immersion in our province…
“Really! Evidently in the province of Pavia there is someone who loves and esteems me particularly… Seriously, I’m very happy. Moreover, I will also return to Stradella on Thursday 16 May with “Tartufo” by Molière».
« Let’s start from the Fraschini Theater, where she has already been in 2010 in the role of the “Taming of the Shrew”. What memories does she have?
«A place of authentic sociality, with an important and cultured public. I remember that the hall seemed so empty that silence reigned, and then give us a long warm applause at the end. And as a theatre, in addition to its historicity and grandeur, it also offers us actors a level of acoustic pleasantness and ease of being on stage».
The roles covered by small provincial theaters are important, such as that of Stradella. What do you think?
“I totally agree. Whether they are beautiful historic theaters such as Stradella or even simply modern halls, the theaters of smaller towns are realities to be defended and reclaimed, because they allow small communities to maintain their own cultural identity without necessarily being forced to travel to the big city for an event”. .
It’s not so common to hear a famous person point out the importance of a church. Does faith matter much in his life?
«Actually I’m a Buddhist, but I can’t deny the importance of Catholicism, which remains the first religion in Italy. And in any case I think of the church as a synonym of spirituality, of non-matter. People today have a great need to take advantage of both spiritual and artistic goods, in this post-Covid era in which the “god of money” seems to win more and more, with the social gap between rich and poor widening dramatically. Just think of the war in Ukraine and how many are speculating».
Speaking of Covid, how did Vanessa Gravina live throughout the lock-down period?
«I think the same way as millions of people… A very ugly and frightening first part, almost as if it were a hallucination and a second in which – beyond fears for the work aspect – I began to discover the meaning of a life for life: how pleasant it was to go back to having the time to cook a vegetable or rediscover things in the cupboards that I didn’t even know I had anymore».
Let’s come to her character in “Witness for the Prosecution”: Romaine Heliger, a German woman full of charm…
«A beautiful, mysterious character, a real “femme fatale” who will enhance the contrast between the English Enlightenment and the romanticism of this woman who Agatha Christie deliberately chooses as Aryan. A wonderful story that keeps the audience enthralled until the end with great suspense, but seasoned with that typical irony of the queen of crime stories».
Is there something of Vanessa Gravina in Romaine Heliger?
«I think there is always something of us in every character we live with on stage. It is a sort of theater game within the theatre».
From theater actress to television dramas: an “all-round” career in which she has chosen to experiment in all areas, which is not so usual…
«I started very young to have leading roles, so my career has lasted for many years and I am satisfied with everything I have done. Indeed, I believe it is important, even if it is tiring and difficult, to explore all areas. Certainly the satisfaction of a live show is incomparable».
«Based on the premise that I stopped doing several things at the same time after risking hospitalization due to exhaustion, now I always do many but one after the other… after the tour of “Witness for the prosecution” I will take a short breather before to start again with “Tartufo”, another beautiful job that we had to interrupt due to Covid and which we are now resuming by popular acclaim. And then I will be busy filming “Il Paradiso delle Signore”, whose cast I joined in 2018».