My Passion For Theatre


Pulcinella

I can’t find nothing more romantic that a young boy or girl who starts a career in Theatre.

A young actor/actress who takes first steps in Theatre and then goes on stage every day for weeks and tries to give to the audience his/her best and, growing older, doesn’t get tired because he/she loves doing it so much. Even adding screen roles to his/her career, he/she doesn’t forget the first love.

I remember I’ve always loved the world of Theatre. I took part to shows very few times at school, sometimes teachers took the class in a real theatre to see a fairy tale, but Acting is not included in school subjects here, as happens in other countries, and that’s a real pity. Even if you don’t choose to be a professional actor, it would help you in life.

Almost every kind of performances are interesting to me, from acting to ballet, small or big production.

Thinking about authors I like, Oscar Wilde and William Shakespeare are the first two names that I have in mind. But also Moliére, Goldoni and so on…

Between the works of Oscar Wilde, I love the story “The Selfish Giant“: the first time I read it was on a magazine that I won during a lesson at the junior school and it had beautiful illustrations. Pity I lost that magazine, but later I bought books with works of the Irish writer. I’m crazy for his plays, specially for the non-sense and the cross talks between the characters.

And in our bookcase at home we have small volumes of works by William Shakespeare translated in Italian, my best friend and future sister-in-law and me liked to play them in our games. Willy wrote about each type of human behaviours. “The Tempest” is my favorite between his works, why is so evocative. My second/quite equal favorite play is “Hamlet” and “Macbeth” made in a proper way is third.

I remember also an animated series of Oriental stories with shadows game on TV, it was fascinating. Charming kind of theatre.

And I like the Italian masks of the Commedia dell’Arte. My brothers and me liked to dress as one of them during the early school years. I was Colombina, but I liked Arlecchino, too.

Despite that, after having seen some good productions of new plays, I’m keeping my attention on New Writing, on contemporary playwrights who are bringing new ideas to theatre.

In my home town we have four cinemas and a beautiful theatre and some cultural associations set up shows, that’s great, since I had the opportunity to go along with my passion. My pal during these occasions is my sister-in-law, who shares with me this passion, specially for musicals. Two times my cousin joined me, one or two times I went with my mother and once with my brothers. Rarely other friends come with us.

Anyway, if I ever had the occasion to join it, my place wouldn’t be on stage: if I could go back in years and choose a different job, I’d like to work behind the scene in the fascinating world of set design as decorator and props maker!

But, as a little child, someone would have told me one day I would have the occasion to go to London to see theatre, I would hardly believe it!

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List of plays and musicals I saw, still to be completed:

Plays/Musicals I saw in 2017

Plays/Musicals I saw in 2016

Plays/Musicals I saw in 2015

Plays/Musicals I saw in 2014

Plays/Musicals I saw in 2013

Plays/Musicals I saw in 2012

Plays/Musicals I saw from my childhood to 2011

Downloaded with Digital Theatre

Seen on big screen with Nexo Digital

Seen on big screen with National Theatre Live (with Nexo Digital)

Seen on disk/screen

Seen from Archives

My favorite Trailers & Clips on Theatre

My favorite Interviews

Clips on Awards

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Now, if you are not bored enough and you want to read further….

THINGS THAT GET ME TO THEATRE

I like the “things that get me to the theatre” game I noticed on other blogs, like here and here, so here there are mine:

Cast: I follow the stage career of some actors I particularly appreciate. Let’s make some examples. If I decide to see them on stage for the first time, it’s because a screen role they play impresses me so much that it makes me want to see them live (like Oliver Johnstone after his moving performance in “Inspector George Gently“). That’s particularly true if we talk about British actors. I’d book immediately for every play that sees Ben Daniels, Ben Whishaw, Bryan Dick or Luke Treadaway in their cast. I’m very sorry I missed some chances to see Christine Bottomley, Maxine Peake and Myanna Buring on stage. I would jump with joy to see Lee Ingleby coming back to theatre and finally see him on stage. I loved Anne-Marie Duff performing at the National and would be great to see her and James McAvoy in a play together (and in others separately, of course)! I’m keeping an eye on the members of the 2013 NYT Rep Company and on the cast of the TV series “Our Girl” and “The Crimson Field” (I already saw some good performances by them in London). I liked Luke Newberry in the series “In The Flesh” so he’s one of the reasons that drove me to book for “Teddy Ferrara” (and Oliver!). Or in very few occasions something magic happens between the cast and me: knowing just few things about only five of twenty members, I totally fell in love with the cast of “Oppenheimer”!! Them and the beautiful story made me see it four times in eight days (it never happened before!) and now I would like to follow all their stage careers and I’m keeping an eye on their Twitter accounts to read their news. I won’t miss a “perfornan” (aka a John Heffernan’s performance) or the charming Catherine Steadman and Jack Holden (but you can read further about what I think of the cast in my review). While it’s a different story if we talk about Italian actors: not that we don’t have good performers, but I think some of them should do more theatre because it’s where they true talent resides, not on screen. I regret I will never be able to see some fine German/Austrian actors on stage because my knowledge of languages is so small. It’s a very strange thing that I seldom know the name of actors of musicals when I read announcements of casting…that’s bad from me!

Story: the story is often the main reason that makes me want to see a play, even when I don’t know any element of the cast. I focus on plays that talk about: WWI, WWII, LGBT matter, Science and Maths, history of Europe, musicals. “War Horse” immediately kept my attention from the first time I heard they were going to stage it and I couldn’t have missed it. Loved how they used Maths and Science in both “The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time” and “Oppenheimer” in such a fascinating and entertaining way. The reason that made me want to see “Peter & Alice“, inspired by real people around “Peter Pan” and “Alice In Wonderland“, is obiouvs: they are two of my favorite fairy tales and Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw were a wonderful bonus. In October 2015 I will go to see “The Bright And Bold Design” because it talks about a very original pottery painter of the XX Century (and I’m in the field)!

New Writing: not that I don’t appreciate to see classic plays, but nowadays I’m particularly focused on new writing or on modern versions of classics. I saw some nice plays taken from movies or TV series. Well, I don’t like much remakes an reboots of movies or tv series on screen, but it’s different with theatre: it was born for being used for different productions. Despite I’m a bit worried they’re exaggerating with too many musicals taken from other works.

Theatre: I don’t go too far to see theatre in Italy. And I’m not regular to a particular theatre, even if sometimes I made a subscription because the season sounded interesting. Usually they are the Teatro Masini in Faenza, the Teatro Ebe Stignani in Imola, the Teatro Diego Fabbri in Forlì, the Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna (where I saw plays, musicals and ballets). But often booking for a single play drives me crazy here. For my experience booking for a show in London is easier. Someone told me that Londoners don’t use to go too far from the centre of London to see a play. Since I go there as a tourist, to me book for a play in the West-End or Off-West-End doesn’t make any difference. I’ve been to small theatre, as well as to big theatres and I’ve appreciated different kind of stages, if the play was good. Unfortunately so far I never managed travels to see some plays in other cities of Great Britain. So for example I would have missed “Oppenheimer” if they didn’t bring it to London and I will miss “Hairspray” 2015 UK tour because timing is not good for me. Even worst when they take place in NY! I missed two terrific plays with Ben Daniels there!

Seat: since it happened to me I went with people who didn’t want to spend too much, I started to appreciated to go alone because I can choose the seat I like: not too far from the stage, so that reading actor’s lips helps me with English and I can see the details of their performances. And the seat must be close to the centre of the row. Too often a bad seat ruined me the show (once in the highest circle of an Italian theatre I couldn’t see half of the stage). Is not wise, I know, to say I prefer a good seat rather than a cheap price, even if sometimes I had to force myself and chose cheaper tickets.

Directors: I was thinking this is not an important reason to me, but then the wonderful Marianne Elliott came to my mind and for sure I would choose a play under her direction. I loved both her productions of “The CuriousIncident Of The Dog In The Night-Time” with Luke Treadaway, for example. War Horse is amazing. For sure along the years other directors will keep my attention.

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FAVORITE MOMENTS

In order of time…

Il guardaroba di Miranda 2010

 1) when we went to see an Italian production of “Rent” in our hometown, my sister-in-law found the last tickets in two different stands, she was in the one closer to the stage, even if we both had good seats. During the interval, a couple in her stand left, so my sister-in-law suggested me to join her there. I was happy to see the second part of the show from a better point of view. For sure one of the actors noticed that, why at the end of the show, during the long and well deserved applauses, he smiled and winked at us! Later, reading the cast list, we found out he was a French actor. The show “Rent” was very beautiful, even translated in Italian, and with good cast.

2) “Romeo and Juliet” ballet by Prokofiev got wonderful music, we saw it in two different productions, and that time the Russian company was stunning. The scenography was essential, while the costumes were elegant. Dancers made an impressive performance. We found nice the reaction of the audience at the end of the show. Usually the two main characters receive the warmest applauses. But the scene of the death of Tibald was so moving and strong that he was the one who got the greatest appreciation. Every time he returned on stage, the applause grew louder and several people shouted to him “Bravo!”. He seemed very impressed and the other dancers were looking at him laughing. I would have liked to read his thoughts in that particular moment!

3) I liked a lot the double-Ariel played by an Italian woman and a Japanese man in that version of “The Tempest” in Forlì.

4) meeting Ben Daniels, after having seen him on stage in “Haunted Child” at the Royal Court the 7 January 2012!!! Poor guy was so lovely, hugged and kissed me, and very patient, because he had promised to sign the programmes for some fans I later sent to them! And that was also my first time ever I saw a play in London! I will never forget that afternoon! Later I regretted I didn’t book to see that play again while I was still in London, but I was with a friend who wanted me to hurry because Ben suggested some good places for her shopping!

5) meeting Luke Treadaway (who also told a funny joke about himself and that he liked to work in “Attack The Block”), Niamh Cusack, Ben Whishaw, Anne-Marie Duff, Bryan Dick so lovely in singing my programmes after shows in 2012-2014.

6) meeting some lovely actors of the cast of “Oppenheimer” twice on April 2015 (I wanted to make them drunk before the show with liquors,  but it didn’t work, damn they were so professional!) – making friends with “Little Boy” & his dad – and “taking part” to a brief scene with “Bob Serber” and “Robert Wilson” being in the right seat in the first row the last time I saw the play (I’m still blushing thinking of it, but I had such fun! I didn’t expect it, even if I saw that moment already!).

7) being between the Dave Morrissey’s wonderful fan club after “Hangmen” last September: he looks much younger live than on screen and he’s not only a talented actor, but also a very nice man, who shaked all our hands twice coming for a drink with us at the Royal Court’s bar and leaving for the evening performance! He stayed with us for long, talking with us and accepted to be in some pictures. Wonderful stage actors! When does that happen elsewhere? I would never had imagined to live an afternoon like that! Thanks girls, btw, it was all your merit!

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WORST MOMENTS

I don’t like to talk about bad things in my site, but sometime is necessary.

1) I feel sorry to say my sister-in-law and me were very disappointed by the staging of “Macbeth” by Gabriele Lavia. And thinking he has good reputation as stage actor. But  in our opinion he chose a bad cast, totally incapable of acting. The love scenes were grotesque. I think they realized this, too, because many people left their seats before the end of the show and the cast received few applauses and were booed. It was the first time we saw such a reaction!

2)  When my friends and me went to see the comedian Ugo Dighero live in a disco-pub, other people, who arrived early to dance after the show, started to speak loudly. We tried to protest but they were not interested in the show and didn’t care if a professionist was making his performance. I wonder why they did not come later.

3) During a Carnival party, there was an award for the best masks, so participants were parading on stage. But, again, some people wanted only dance and protests grew all around. The people in costume answered back that they had worked hard to make their masks and were upset. I was enjoying the parade and the wonderful masks and wondered why dancers could not wait just some minutes for the finale! But one of my friends said all that was too long and boring, organizers should avoid this. Unbelievable! And thinking the party was organized just for that event! Lovers of disco are wild boars!

4) During the Teatro Diego Fabbri 2012-2013 season I was sitting side by side with a woman who used her mobile during all the 8 shows. Is it possible that she didn’t like any of them?!? So why didn’t she stay at home??? I didn’t know what to say and I let her doing so, but I had very bad thoughts against her damn mobile…

5) Italian audiences applaude every 10 minutes. I can’t stand it.

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Other thoughts will follow… maybe…

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