Duration: one hour and 50 minutes without interval
Audiences applauded his brilliant directing of Shakespearean works, Cymbeline in 2007, Macbeth in 2010 and The Winter’s Tale in 2016. Declan Donnellan is now making his directing debut with a production in Italian for the season at the Piccolo Teatro, The Revenger’s tragedy by the Jacobean playwright Thomas Middleton.
A contemporary of Shakespeare - he was sixteen years younger than the Bard, - Middleton gave his characters “explanatory” names in order to immediately indicate their role and behaviour: Vindice, Spurio, Supervacuo, Lussurioso, Ambizioso, Castiza….
“Middleton and Shakespeare - explains Donnellan - made their careers in a London which was undergoing a period of sensational change. It was a time of economic boom and bust dominated by social unease which would finally erupt in a revolution that would utterly destroy the cultural world of both playwrights. On reading Middleton, one perceives an impending threat, which grows like an invisible tumour until it explodes, fed by resentment and injustice. He speaks to us of corrupt governments embroiled in shady affairs, and of a people who can be bought like merchandise. He describes a society obsessed with sex, fame, social standing and money, dominated by narcissism and a compulsive need for self-celebration in order to convince others - and above all themselves - that they are good and fair”.
“At the time - explains Donnellan - Italy was a forbidden place which very few English people had ever visited. Catholic Europe was, for the Protestant English, an elsewhere, similar to that represented by Soviet Russia during our youth. It was a potential invader, the bearer of harmful ideology”.
Piccolo Teatro Strehler
from 9 October to 16 November 2018
The Revenger’s tragedy
by Thomas Middleton
dramaturgy and direction by Declan Donnellan
Italian version by Stefano Massini
sets and costumes Nick Ormerod
lighting Judith Greenwood, Claudio De Pace
music Gianluca Misiti
with Ivan Alovisio, Alessandro Bandini, Marco Brinzi, Fausto Cabra, Martin Ilunga Chishimba, Christian Di Filippo, Raffaele Esposito, Ruggero Franceschini, Pia Lanciotti, Errico Liguori, Marta Malvestiti, David Meden, Massimiliano Speziani, Beatrice Vecchione
A Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa | ERT – Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione co-production
In Italian with surtitles in English in the performances of 9, 13, 17, 20, 27 October and 3, 10 November.
Surtitles by Prescott Studio