La classe operaia va in paradiso

When it was first released in cinemas in 1971, La classe operaia va in paradiso (The Working Class Goes to Heaven) by Elio Petri succeeded in the difficult task of making opposing parties agree. Industrialists, union leaders, students, intellectuals and committed cinema critics all formed a strange united front in slating the film. Some even went as far as to propose the burning of the film, which held its bad reputation for a long time despite the numerous awards won and, above all, despite the calibre of the cast, from Gian Maria Volonté to Mariangela Melato and Salvo Randone. The work provoked heated debate from within the Italian political left-wing, radically questioning its ideological identity, as well as its effective capacity of representing the working classes. The play, constructed around Petri and Pirro’s screenplay and fragments which bear witness to the film’s history, reassembled in a new dramaturgic structure by Paolo Di Paolo and combined, through the directing of Claudio Longhi, with a rich and articulated score performed live by the same ensemble of actors involved in the staging, now returns to the stage almost fifty years after its debut on the silver screen. ERT has chosen to return to the unorthodox, and at times alienating, point of view of Petri’s films to propose a reflection on the recent political and cultural history of our country. The stylistic register is a direct descendant of that incandescent “caprice” typical of Petri, a balance between a grotesqueness which is at times vicious and at times dramatical, and an extravagant realism.

The play is currently in production

Piccolo Teatro Grassi
from 15 to 20 May 2018
La classe operaia va in paradiso
based on the film of the same name by Elio Petri (screenplay by Elio Petri and Ugo Pirro)
dramaturgy Paolo Di Paolo
directed by Claudio Longhi
sets Guia Buzzi
costumes Gianluca Sbicca
with Donatella Allegro, Nicola Bortolotti, Michele Dell’Utri, Simone Francia, Lino Guanciale, Diana Manea, Eugenio Papalia, Franca Penone, Simone Tangolo, Filippo Zattini

Information and bookings
Telephone service
From Monday to Saturday 9.45 a.m. – 6.45 p.m.
Sunday 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Teatro Strehler
From Monday to Saturday 9.45 a.m. to 6.45 p.m.
Sunday 1.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
On the evening of the performance the sale of tickets will close one hour before the performance begins.

Groups and organisations
For information on tickets and subscriptions for groups and organisations, and afternoon performances for schools and educational shows, please contact the Servizio Promozione Pubblico e Proposte Culturali.