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Dario Fo and Franca Rame, Theatre, Politics and Life



Dario Fo and Franca Rame, Theatre, Politics and Life

Joe Farrell's biography of Dario Fo and Franca Rame will be launched by a discussion of their lives and work between the author and the couple's long-term collaborator, Piero Sciotto, who will also sing some of Fo's songs.

Dario Fo - actor, playwright, theatre director, stage designer, political activist, artist and author who, having attained international fame in theatre, produced the first of his six novels at the age of 88 - was there any limit to his versatile genius? He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1997, and works such as Morte accidentale di un Anarchico or Non si paga, Non si paga! secured his reputation as the outstanding political playwright of his age. Unlike other writers of a similar mind, Fo's chosen genre was farce, so his drama is a uniquely engaging mixture of laughter and anger.

In 1954 he married Franca Rame, member of a family-company of touring players. The personal and professional partnership of the two over sixty years was probably unique in theatre history. Her inherited, instinctive knowledge of stagecraft was invaluable to him, but although she was always recognised as an actor of considerable talent, her contribution to the writing of the plays was long undervalued. With the emergence of the feminist movement she increasingly asserted herself, notably with a series of one-woman works she wrote and performed

Although the subjects of their plays, with their fearless attacks on corruption and satire of Popes and politicians, were often taken from the headlines of the day, their theatre was deeply rooted in theatrical tradition. The Nobel prize citation stated that Fo 'emulated the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden,' but this political campaigning came at a cost.

Piero Sciotto was already a celebrated singer-songwriter in his native Sicily when in 1973 he was invited to join Dario Fo's company for the show "Ci ragiono e canto". Under Fo's guidance, he developed into an actor and appeared in the such plays as "Guerra di popolo in Cile" Later he became company manager, and oversaw the tour of America by Dario and Franca Rame. He also co-authored a novel with Dario.

Joe Farrell was professor of Italian at Strathclyde University. He has written on both Scottish and Italian theatre, was reviewer for The Scotsman and now contributes a theatre column for the Scottish Review of Books. He co-edited the Cambridge History of Italian Theatre. He was Dario Fo's translator, so the present biography is a revised and updated version of a work which first appeared almost twenty years ago, and is the fruit of a long-term friendship with Dario and Franca Rame.


Data: Mar 16 Apr 2019

Orario: Alle 18:00

Organizzato da : Italian Institute of Culture

In collaborazione con : Methuen Publishing

Ingresso : Libero


Italian Institute of Culture, 82 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh