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Theatre Mirror of Society. THEATRE : MIRROR OF SOCIETY The Theatre appears an unequalled way to understand and analyse the social context of the two Countries.

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Presentation on theme: "Theatre Mirror of Society. THEATRE : MIRROR OF SOCIETY The Theatre appears an unequalled way to understand and analyse the social context of the two Countries."— Presentation transcript:

1 Theatre Mirror of Society

2 THEATRE : MIRROR OF SOCIETY The Theatre appears an unequalled way to understand and analyse the social context of the two Countries partners of this project, and to know each other’s historical and cultural identity. In particular Eduardo De Filippo’s and Dario Fo’s works seem more suitable to represent the historical and social context of 20th century Italy in a lively and attractive way. From their works some scenes have been selected to be staged, as this project will be completed by their actual performance.

3 Eduardo De Filippo Eduardo de Filippo (1900 – 1984), or simply Eduardo as the Italians call him, was both an actor and a playwright. Eduardo enjoyed success as a director in the 1950s, turning out a string of light comedies, many based on his own plays. In addition to writing and directing his own films, he also wrote or collaborated on films with such directors as 'Vittorio de Sica'. Eduardo was born in Naples from a show-business family (his father Eduardo Scarpetta was a famous stage actor and playwright). He made his stage debut at age 5. At 32 he set up his own stage company with his brother Peppino and sister Titina. the three worked together for many years until they separated when their artistic disagreement became acute.

4 Eduardo De Filippo Many of his comedies achieved success also abroad. Some of them have been made into films. He wrote nearly all his plays in Neapolitan dialect and Naples and Neapolitan people are the protagonists of his works. In November 1980 he received an honorary degree in letters from the University of Rome. In his later years he worked as director and university professor and was a member of the Italian Senate until his death at age 84. He died in Rome in1984. His characters belong to the low middle class and Eduardo brings on the stage their daily life, their traditional family values, their pettiness, their sufferings, their moral deterioration. Sometimes they are victims of social injustice, particularly the poor who in their fight for survival live doing illegal jobs. Although he deals with Neapolitan people, his stories have universal significance and can be considered a portrait of the traditional Italian middle class society. His comedies present comical situations and sense of humour but at the same time serious issues. Through his capacity to mingle comicality and tragedy he made people look inside themselves and at reality around them. Later in his career, he turned somewhat away from dialect in a search to express themes which, though they may be eternal, became more evident in the twentieth century —the need for illusion, for example. In this, his works recall those of another great Italian playwright of our times, Luigi Pirandello. His best plays are: Natale in casa Cupiello, Non ti pago, Napoli Milionaria!, Questi fantasmi!, Filumena Marturano, Le voci di dentro; Sabato, Domenica e Lunedì

5 WORKS Natale in casa Cupiello. The story is about the protagonist’s love for traditions and family values. Filumena Marturano. The protagonist is a poor woman who manages to get her lover to marry her. Napoli Milionaria! Set in Naples during the Second World War, it’s the story of a Neapolitan family who manages not only to survive but also to make a lot of money selling food on the black market.

6 Napoli Milionaria

7 NAPOLI MILIONARIA “Napoli Milionaria!” was a fortunate comedy, written in It is representative of a particular historical and social time in Naples and Italy: World War Two. Eduardo’s intention was to communicate the deep sense of tragedy which was violently shaking Naples. He said “I wrote it very quickly, as a long newspaper article about war and its harmful consequences”. Its first performance took place at San Carlo Theatre on 25th March He said:in Naples and Italy: World War Two “Almost all the theatres were requisitioned and I got the San Carlo Theatre only for a night. (…) It was still war time and the battle front was near Florence.(….) there was hunger and a lot of desperate people (…) I got to the third act with a growing anxiety. I was playing my role and I could hear a deep terrible silence all around. When I pronounced my ending cue and the heavy curtain was down, the silence went on for other eight, ten seconds, then a deafening applause broke out, together with an uncontrollable cry (…) everybody was crying, and me too: I had staged everybody’s pain.”

8 “Almost all the theatres were requisitioned and I got the San Carlo Theatre only for a night. (…) It was still war time and the battle front was near Florence.(….) there was hunger and a lot of desperate people (…) I got to the third act with a growing anxiety. I was playing my role and I could hear a deep terrible silence all around. When I pronounced my ending cue and the heavy curtain was down, the silence went on for other eight, ten seconds, then a deafening applause broke out, together with an uncontrollable cry (…) everybody was crying, and me too: I had staged everybody’s pain.”

9 Napoli Milionaria is set in Naples during the Second World War. The family protagonist of the comedy is the Iovines. They live in a basso. Mrs Iovine, first name Amalia, makes a living selling on the black market all kinds of food, which she hides under the bed. Her unemployed husband, Gennaro, is the only one in the family to have honest feelings but he too has to help his family from the police. in a basso PLOT

10 He is taken prisoner by German Nazis and kept in a concentration camp. When he returns home after the war he finds changes in his house and his family. His wife Amalia has made a lot of money from the black market, his son is a car thief, one of his daughters is pregnant by an American soldier. Mrs Iovine, first name Amalia, makes a living selling on the black market all kinds of food, which she hides under the bed. Her unemployed husband, Gennaro, is the only one in the family to have honest feelings but he too has to help his family from the police. PLOT His family seems to have lost all moral values; money and possessions are more important than anything else. Gennaro, eventually, manages to make his family realize the dishonesty and moral emptiness of their life. The play ends with words of hope for a better future.

11 Like all Eduardo’s plays Napoli Milionaria is characterized by a strong sense of humour and comic situations. An example is in Act 1. Gennaro, the protagonist, pretends to be dead when the police come to search his house looking for the food that his wife sells on the black market. The comicality is increased by the fact that at that very moment the town is being bombed and everybody is running for shelter. Though in danger, he keeps pretending to be dead and in the end the policeman, struck by his courage, promises him that he will not arrest him if he stops his pretence.

12 T H E E N D

13 BASSI back. Many of the poor lived in overcrowded bassi, the typical Neapolitan slums. The bassi are made up of only one room, windowless, and street-level. Most of them are in the Spanish Quarter, a district of Naples that was laid out to house Spanish troops during the 17th century. It is characterized by narrow crowded streets and alleys, with the buildings so close together as to barely let in any sunlight.

14 HISTORICAL AND SOCIAL BACKGROUND Naples in war and post-war Time back. Nearly 7,000 tons of supplies were flowing ashore daily and according to official data one cargo out of three unloaded by allied ships in Naples harbour was regularly stolen. The stolen goods were sold on black market. This allowed many people to make money. Of course, not everybody could afford to buy on black market, the poor were still forced to survive on the little food allowed by the government rations. Today the Spanish Quarter has become a tourist attraction, and many of the bassi have been turned into shops and storehouses. Like many Italian towns and cities, also Naples suffered the consequences of the war. For many months they depended upon the Allies for basic survival items which added to the food rationing imposed by the Italian government. Those days saw the birth and flourishing of the black market, that is the illegal sale of food and goods in general at very high prices. It was bombed and shelled by both the Germans and the Allies and when the Allies captured it they found it virtually destroyed. An allied military government was set up and the Neapolitans, who had experienced hard times in the previous years (hunger, poverty, bombings) had now the possibility to better their living conditions.


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