Cafe Eurøpa

“I believe in one thing – that only a life lived for others is a life worth living”. Albert Einstein

We will always be strangers to some people. Sometimes we are strangers even to ourselves, unless we know who we are deep down, or when we don’t know what each of us is capable of.

CAFE EURØPA takes great pleasure in making fun of the vices and hypocrisy of mankind: a sarcastic and grotesque observation of society that gives the audience an interesting perspective on the present day. This is the shocking story of a small village and its inhabitants, but above all it’s the account of one place in particular, a cafe: CAFE EURØPA.


Cast and Crew: 12/13 people on tour (9 actors / actresses)
Running time: 65 min. approx.
Venue: show suitable for large open spaces
Language: NO TEXT >> non-verbal performance
Technics: Circus / Physical Theatre / Machinery and Large Objects
Target: any age bracket – Suitable for an international audience
Audience: best approx. 2.000 people. >> It can accomodate up to 3,000 audience members
Miscellaneous: Use of fireworks
Directed by: Marco Paciotti
An original IDEA by: ONDADURTO TEATRO / Marco Paciotti and Lorenzo Pasquali
Machinery and Objects designed by: Lorenzo Pasquali and Massimo Carsetti
Machinery and Objects made by: Dario Vandelli
Original Sundtrack: Stefano Saletti
Costume Design: Karma B
Lighting Design: Roberto Mazzaro
Machinery Lighting Design: Nicola Fornicola
Videos: Nicola Fornicola
Graphic and Images: NEVE / Danilo Pistone
Co-produced by: Mirabilia Festival / ITALY and FiraTàrrega / SPAIN
With the Patronage of: Istituto Italiano di Cultura Barcellona / SPAIN
In collaboration with: MiBACT / ITALY and C.L.A.P.S. / ITALY
Main Sponsor: Massimo Carsetti
Supported by: Teatro nel Bicchiere Festival / ITALY
With the support of: INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN
International consultance: Ute Classen Kulturmanagement
Performing Arts Residency: inBORGO – Residenza Artistica 2016

CAFE EURØPA is surrounded by mountains, not too far from sea. From this vantage point, one can admire the jagged coastline and smell the aroma of the salt water far below. Up here, a road takes visitors to an old cafe, in the heart of the village. The old road, the cafe, the preparations for the 1,000-mile race (the most eagerly anticipated event in the village). CAFE EURØPA is an allegory of an unreal and rarefied place, telling the story of life and society in a village, with its bizarre characters.

Like he does every morning, Don Antonio rings the bells in the small village, pursued by Assuntina who comes to church ready to embrace with all her heart the only love that makes her feel satisfied: God’s divine love. First to come into CAFE EURØPA is the distinguished Professor, who invariably has his nose in a book or a newspaper. The Professor is a handsome, charming and extremely kind man, and Titina, while she pours his usual American coffee, regularly wonders why he’s never found a woman to fall in love with. As usual there’s something wrong at CAFE EURØPA and here comes Orazio, the mechanic, or rather, the quiet, taciturn handyman, who is forever obsessing over some repair or another, or tinkering on something with his tools. Last to come to the CAFE EURØPA is the aloof and flawlessly elegant Countess Sinibaldi. Every year she comes to see the progress of the 1,000-mile race as it passes through the village. In stark contrast is the buxom, larger-than-life Ersilia! Always the centre of attention and constantly over the top, Ersilia is the chairwoman of all the festivities held in the village and, like every year, she is working hard to organize the event to mark the passing of 1,000-mile race, the only event of note in the village. All the inhabitants, under Ersilia’s direction, meet at CAFE EURØPA for the rehearsal of the 1,000-mile race celebration. Our characters are good, honest people…they really “love” and “respect” each other and, above all, they love their small town.

One day, just like any other, a new arrival changes the village’s routine: She is a young “stranger”, alone, in this rarefied village, which at first glance seems no different from all the rest. She offered herself to the community and the people answered by giving her the most important gift of all: friendship. Besides, preparations for the 1,000-mile race are in full swing, and everyone is anxiously awaiting the most famous car race in Italy. But a strange man arrives in the village looking for the young stranger and offering a reward to anyone in the village who will give him news of her…and so, what will happen in the village now?

A veil hides those evasive glances. The clouds disperse revealing an irregularity, a defect in the houses but most importantly in the people. The mask that hides their miserable existences is about to be revealed. Their innermost fears all start to come to the surface: the fear of loving, of putting themselves to the test, the fear of what is “other”, of the unknown.

Loosely based on the cinematic masterpiece “Dogville” by Lars von Trier and the tragicomic play “The Visit” by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, CAFE EURØPA is an allegory of a modern society, a grotesque tale, a careful interplay of echoes between reality and poetry, between the dreamworld and the cruelty of everyday life, which with a taste for paradox and provocation, investigates human corruptibility, the manipulation of consent and the relationship between morality and violence.


The use of machinery and objects follows on from and develops the research conducted by the company during all its previous performances. The scenery moves around a central structure transformed by the live action of the performers on stage, who are, therefore, actors and manipulators at the same time. The “main structure” is inspired by the work of Frank Gehry and his most famous building, the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao: “the greatest building of our time”. Under the chaotic appearance created by the opposition of fragmented regular and curved forms, everything is built around a central axis, which more closely resembles a large boat, creating the possibility of unexpected interconnections. Structures and machinery that create unexpected locations for live action during the show: a twinkling light pole, an ancient motorbike, the machinery of dictatorship and power, a strange Café…all positioned amid mechanisms and gears that change and modify the space like a beating heart. The machinery “dances” and is moved around on stage, giving life to a carousel, one of the distinguishing features of an ONDADURTO TEATRO theatrical performance. All the machinery will “play” around with the concept of section / division / refraction: reality is broken down into fragments.


Music completes the relationship between the various media. The flavour of the original soundtrack is created by a composition that is, in itself, an extremely evocative and emotive element. At the same time, the soundtrack of the show is a mash-up of contemporary songs that gives the audience an intense, live experience with an expansive sound and themes of modern alienation.


Physical Theatre, Nouveau Cirque and Gesture are essential parts of ONDADURTO TEATRO productions, combined with the use of Big Objects in movement: Machinery, Fireworks, Video Projections and Music. ONDADURTO TEATRO performances use different techniques and ways of expression, which give rise to a new high-impact language, capable of engaging in a dialogue with all cultures and with an international audience.

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“Is street theatre on a large scale with aesthetic ambition and an undoubted technical ability really possible? Yes it is. Ondadurto Teatro, an Italian theatre company, have put on a performance of the type of expressiveness found in Cirque du Soleil. An ideal combination of elements for a wide range of audiences, which tells a story that affects us all, deep down.” – Manuel Pérez