The Revenger's tragedy 30/06/2019

International Committee Program

The Revenger's tragedy


The theater:
Piccolo Teatro di Milano – European Theatre (Milan, Italy)
The author of the work:
Thomas Middleton. Text adaptation – Declan Donnellan. Italian version – Stefano Massini
1 h. 50 min. The performance runs without intermission
October 9, 2018
The languages of performance:
Italian. With captions in Russian

The Revenger's Tragedy is the first performance with Italian actors in Italian produced by Declan Donnellan, an internationally famous British film/stage director. A literary foundation is a Jacobean tragedy of the same name (also attributed to Cyril Tourneur) of Thomas Middleton, a younger contemporary of Shakespeare. Middleton settles his characters in Italy and names them charactonyms: Vindice (Revenger), Spurio (Bastard), Supervacuo (Super soulless), Lussurioso (Libertine), Ambitioso (Ambitious), Castiza (Chaste)…

Declan Donnellan explains, "In those days, Italy was rather exotic for the English; Catholic Europe was somewhere very far — it was a potential invader, host of poisonous and pernicious ideology as Soviet Russia in our young days."

The action takes place in the Italian court. Vindice broods over killing the Duke for poisoning his fiancee Castiza who rejected the nobleman’s pressure.

"Dating back to Shakespeare and Middleton, London was changing amazingly. It was a period of huge economic growth and great depredations; a feeling of discontent was dominating in the city, which was deliberately ignored. When reading Middleton’s plays, you have a feeling of an impending threat that is growing as the invisible tumor being nourished by resentments and unfairness until it kills everything around. Middleton speaks of corrupt bureaucracy steeped to the lips in shady goings-on, of people who can be purchased as goods. He describes the society obsessed with lust, glory, money, and station in life where narcissism and addiction to self-praise prevail, to convince primarily oneself and not others that, as a matter of fact, they are kind and fair." Declan Donnellan