Enter the unique world of Praxis Makes Perfect! Become part of an immersive gig imagining the life of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, the millionaire Italian communist at the heart of many of the most extraordinary events of the twentieth century.
Smuggle a manuscript out of Russia, be tortured by the CIA, play basketball with Fidel Castro! With Feltrinelli anything is possible.
Conceived and performed by Gruff Rhys & Boom Bip of Neon Neon, with playwright Tim Price and director Wils Wilson.
Buy the album here.
some sort of god damn creative masterclass
one of the most admirably daring live realisations of an album ever. It demands to be seen and remembered
unlike anything we’ve witnessed before. Superb
an amazing and exciting performance
Neon Neon and National Theatre Wales have excelled themselves
I cannot recommend it highly enough
one of the most brilliant experiences I’ve ever had watching live music
kitsch, funny, moving, uplifting, silly and thoughtful in equal measure
Neon Neon (Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip)
With kind support from Anglepoise
‘Do you know how the shower works?’ Said Gruff Rhys, in his pants, at the foot of my bed. There are very few moments, where you allow yourself to think ‘I’ve made it’ but this was definitely one. Finally, after 20 years of a largely one-way relationship, Gruff and I were in our unmentionables in a European hotel, in need of a wash.
Praxis Makes Perfect is about the remarkable life of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli and I was in Rome with Gruff, Boom Bip, our documentary maker Ryan, and Dr Kiko our tour manager (who deserves a play in his own right) for research.
We were there to meet Carlo Feltrinelli, Giangiacomo’s son, who has written a fantastic book called Senior Service telling the life-story of his father. Carlo’s day-job is running Italy’s biggest publishing house Feltrinelli Editore. The equivalent in the UK would be the old-style Virgin store, combined with Waterstones and HMV. There are 5 Feltrinelli stores in Milan. It is the mark of Carlo’s generosity of spirit, that a band and a playwright can turn up at his office and say ‘we want to make a synth album and live show with dramatic interventions based on your father’s life in a factory in Wales,’ and he said ‘fantastic’ and bought us lunch.
The next day we went to the Feltrinelli foundation, set up by Giangiacomo, where Carlo showed us handwritten letters between Karl Marx and Frederich Engels, a first edition of the Communist Manifesto, a first edition of A Vindication Of The Rights Of Women, by Mary Wollstonecraft, and the original manuscript for Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak.
From there Dr Kiko drove us overnight to Rome where we met Italian screen siren Asia Argento and recorded her reading parts of Carlo’s book, while her tortoise urinated everywhere.
The final night we were in Rome was the night of annual Communist Party of Italy Rally. The Communist cause being central to Giangiacomo’s life story, we were compelled to go along. So I went to the Italian Communist Party Rally in Rome, with Neon Neon. Standard.
For the record, Gruff and Boom Bip don’t snore, Ryan the cameranman does, Gruff drinks a lot of coffee. Boom Bip can’t get email on his phone in Europe and driving around Italy in a blacked out splitter van, getting per diems off a tour manager, is the coolest thing I’ve ever done. And I’ve worked with Matthew Aubrey.
- Tim Price, Writer