La Locandiera by Carlo Goldoni, known in English as “The Mistress of the Inn“
Teatro Diego Fabbri – Forlì – Italy
The story takes place in Firenze, when a woman inherited an inn from his father and where there are some guests when the story begins.
There’s a fine cast of five actors and one actress in costumes and wigs, a simple but smart set design which reproduces a ‘700 inn, a soundtrack taken from beautiful Prokoviev’s “Romeo And Juliet” in a gayest way. Those few elements leave space to the story of Mirandolina and her relationship with the men who live at the inn.
I always loved Mirandolina, one of the best female character ever. The role deserves a bright performer and Nancy Brilli played her with elegance and humor!!
The play was very funny, but also made me think about its meaning.
What make classic theatre great, is its being able to talk about matters which can be still modern. La Locandiera is one of them. I think Carlo Goldoni wrote a feminist play ante-litteram! He made for Italian Theatre what Moliére did for French Theatre or Shakespeare for the British. My opinion at least.
Mirandolina is trapped in some way, even if she seems single and free. She likes her freedom, she likes her job at the inn, but she only sees men around her who try to own and rule her.
They think they can buy her with precious gifts, like the Marchese of Forlipopoli or the Conte of Albafiorita – or take her away only why she’s a woman, but later being rude with her when they see she isn’t interested in them, like the Cavaliere of Ripafratta.
So she takes the decision to play with their sentiments, a revenge in the name of the other women. Right or wrong, I think is a natural feeling.
There’s even one of the men, the Conte of Albafiorita, who becomes more interested in Ortensia, a guest of the inn, when he finds out she’s a transvestite. But since he’s in rivalry with the Marchese of Forlipopoli, he can’t give up with Mirandolina and admit he prefers men.
Even for Fabrizio, who seems to love her, she doesn’t feel real love, as the father promised her to him in his death bed, so they marriage would be based on interest. She decides to marry him only to have protection, why she thinks the Cavaliere of Ripafratta would kill her.
As often happens, Mirandolina remains alone at the end, thinking about what she did.
As it happens in the play, there’s still mistrust between men and women in our days, which makes people of both sexes doing wrong things, as we can see from too many bad news of women killed because of an unrequited love.