Duration: two hours without interval
Patrick Marber is possibly not a well-known name, but many have seen Closer, the splendid film by Mike Nichols with Jude Law, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts, based on the play of the same name which saw the playwright triumph in London and on Broadway.
Marcello Cotugno – who staged the Italian version of Closer in 2003 – strengthens his bond with the English playwright with The Red Lion. “Marber - he explains -, taking his cue from authors such as Harold Pinter and John Osborne, follows in the wake of Martin Crimp, Sarah Kane and, from overseas, Edward Albee, David Mamet and Sam Shepard. It is a relational form of theatre which, with a blend of tradition and innovation, explores and dissects the failed relationships and lost values of Western civilisation".
The central theme of The Red Lion is football. “On the state - Cotugno continues - we have three characters: a young promising player, the coach and the team’s elderly kit-man, with the latter two unconscious of the young man’s problems and focused exclusively on profiting from his skills”.
The adaptation by the Neapolitan writer Andrej Longo sets the story in provincial Campania and aims to further highlight the universal themes and remove the distance that at times distorts understanding of British works. Through a cross-generational and powerful subject, Marber invites us to reflect on the loss of values that currently affects many other contemporary contexts. The simple and symbolic staging showcases the performances of an exceptional cast. The young Simone Mazzella and two of the most appreciated Italian talents of stage and screen, Nello Mascia and Andrea Renzi, who - twenty years later - are reforming the footballing duo from One man up, Paolo Sorrentino’s cult debut film. The three actors lend a voice to the lost souls who, between one match and the next, come together and collide in the worn and fascinating backstage of a run-down provincial football pitch, bitterly representing the dreams and failures of us all.
Piccolo Teatro Grassi
from 21 October to 1 November 2020
The Red Lion
by Patrick Marber
translation Marco Casazza, adaptation Andrej Longo
direction and soundtrack by Marcello Cotugno
assistant director Martina Gargiulo
sets Luigi Ferrigno
costumes Anna Verde
lighting Pasquale Mari
sound Daghi Rondanini
with Nello Mascia, Andrea Renzi, Simone Mazzella
a La Pirandelliana/Teatri Uniti co-production