Silvia Mercuriali is an internationally acclaimed theatre maker and artist originally from Milan and now based in London (since 2000). She is best known as one of the pioneers of the strategy of AUTOTEATRO, which she developed for the show Etiquette in 2007 with Ant Hampton under the name of Rotozaza.
Etiquette has been presented in cultural institutions around the world including: Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Barbican Centre in London; Alexandrinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg and Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis . It currently exists in 17 languages – Russian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, French, Italian, Danish, Czech, Welsh and many more.
Since Etiquette, Silvia has developed this performance strategy - applying it, stretching it and moulding it to different technologies and in different contexts, constantly inviting audiences to question what is real and what is not.
Her audiences have seen everyday scenarios transformed, in supermarkets (Wondermart), from the backseat of a car (Pinocchio), in the lecture halls of mayoral offices (Still Night); as part of a walking tour (Silent Dante - Verona); and within their own bodies (The Eye - Fuel commission). Her most recent show (Macondo) experimented with this idea on a large scale, on a traditional theatre stage, with no actors and only the audience to create the performance.
The real and the imagined blur, creating a parallel reality which exists only for the participants, whilst around them, the general public carries on undisturbed. The audience's panoramic view of Silvia's work is a melange of public & private interactions, comprising both the random/unplanned and the controlled/scripted.
She has merged autoteatro with Cinema (as Il Pixel Rosso), immersive theatre (as Berlin, Nevada) and in one-to-one performances. She often works collaboratively and is open to new practices and propositions.
Her work has been commissioned by both international cultural institutions -including Brisbane Powerhouse (AUS) and Museum of Art of Kochi (JP) - and UK commissioning bodies - such as Welcome trust, Fuel Theatres, The Roundhouse, Battersea Arts Centre and Harrogate Theatre & Yorkshire Festival.