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In 2019 Imaginarium signed the "crazy" set design of Simone Cristicchi's new prose project entitled HAPPY NEXT In Search of Happiness.

The pursuit of happiness is an age-old and fundamental theme for every human being, a path capable of opening new horizons: from the fascination with big ideas to the wonder of small things. Simone Cristicchi presents his new theater project, seeking to answer necessary, indeed vital, questions. What is happiness? What prevents us from being happy? Is there a recipe for living in harmony with ourselves and the world that hosts us? On stage is a presenter in crisis with himself and the media, a valet shaken by her problems, an intrusive but ever-ready technical director, and a cynical and capable director. These are the protagonists of "Happy Next," an ironic, disenchanted, and at the same time, passionate reflection on how men are desperately searching for happiness amid blunders, deceptions, hopes, and disappointments. We laugh, play, joke, and do not take ourselves too seriously: as in a child's game, everything here is fake, yet nothing is artificial. Until the final applause, whether real or recorded. An elusive but nonetheless necessary happiness. "Happy Next" is a great kaleidoscope, irreverent and sincere, where there is room for everything: from the Kamasutra to St. Augustine, from Marcel Proust to the famous Western philosopher Massimo Calcinacci. And along with them: pots, human cakes, ballets, a hummingbird, and seven words. Seven essential words to rely on, to try to be truly happy!




In introducing the show, Cristicchi described to us a first act set in a surreal television studio, the host location of a TV show with noisy and, at the same time, sugary features, in which a whole series of clichés about happiness propagated by the "system" would come to life.

Starting from these indications, we developed a project totally "devoted" to a surreal aesthetic, consisting of two practicable structures characterized by fixed and movable objects with a solid reference for cartoons. All visible parts of the scene are not painted but carry prints of the actual drawing born on paper. Therefore, we can call it a scene that derives in its completeness from an illustration project made with a marker on watercolor paper.

We have titled this scene "the dump of Happiness." When looking at it frontally on the scene, we can identify a left-hand area in which objects reminiscent of the world of TV, with screens of different sizes, exaggerated lights, antennas, dressing rooms, camp out, and a right-hand area that represents the actual dump of happiness mentioned above: a heap of fake wealth, a colorful but depressing cascade of iconic objects referring to low-key pop culture. Thus we find the eyes, a symbol of one of the most watched and trashiest shows on Italian TV, Big Brother, the palm tree representing tropical vacations to be recounted on social media moment by moment and at the same time serving as a reference to another cult trash show, Temptation Island. And again, the luxury car, the mouth, its gratuitous sensuality, the shouted judgment with or without a megaphone, the Buddhah deprived of its religiosity and mysticism, transformed into mere souvenirs of exotic travels. And finally, amid this mountain of garbage, there is a glimmer of hope: the astronaut, a symbol of openness, study, and wisdom, intent on freeing himself with all his might from this claustrophobic mass of "fiction" that keeps him imprisoned.



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