Connect with us

News

PREVIEW: A rarely performed Italian satire from the playwright that liked to keep audiences guessing

Cambridge University’s annual Italian Society play

Published

on

Luigi Pirandello’s last work The Mountain Giants, remained unfinished when he died in 1936. The work by the Sicilian playwright who liked to leave audiences guessing would have completed a trilogy. The third of his “myth-plays is concerned with the myth of art. In a society consumed by consumerism, Pirandello asks, where does art fit?

Can artists coexist with materialism and greed? And what happens to art if the artist rejects their audience? Is art in fact an essential part of human existence?

It sounds heavy and serious, but it is a satire laced with humour – and that’s how it will be presented in Cambridge.

Because it was unfinished, whenever it is performed the director will add an ending.

The play has been chosen as this year’s play for Cambridge University’s annual Italian Society play – the 10th the society has performed.

Once more the Palmerston Room in St John’s College, will be transformed into a little pocket of the Mediterranean, orchestrated by a professional director from Rome, Ludovico Nolfi.

Nolfi explains: “In the play, an exhausted and penniless company of touring actors, led by their leading lady, the Countess Ilse, turns up after a long journey at the Villa of the Scalogna (Fortune’s Curse), located at the foot of a mountain.

Cast of The Mountain Giants

Cast of The Mountain Giants

“Here, they meet the peculiar residents, the Scalognati (the Unfortunates) who are closer to apparitions than real people, but who seem anything but unfortunate.

“The Scalognati are carefree, imaginative, whimsical, and poetic. (Everything an artist would be without the constraints of society).”

Their leader, the wizard Cotrone, says in the play: “We live here on the outskirts of life…. What happens here usually only happens in dreams. Music, prayer, love, poetry and all the possibility that lies in mankind. You’ll find it here.”

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article

Nowhere as strongly as in this play will you find the influence of the surrealist movement of the 1920s on Pirandello’s work.

The world he creates is in an unsteady balance between dreams and real life. The strange souls, the Scalognati, have the power to bring dreams to life.

 Ortensia Vito as the puppet Mita Photograph by Raffaella Losito (1)

Ortensia Vito as the puppet Mita Photograph by Raffaella Losito

They conjure up a stage for the actors to perform their play to an audience of the nearby population, the mountain giants.

For Pirandello, the giants are the embodiment of philistine consumerists, deaf to art. Pirandello’s final work shows itself to be highly prophetic. He speaks to us of the dangers of a world ever more preoccupied with profit and consumption.

“In this adaptation,” Nolfi says: “I have chosen to set the play in an abandoned theatre next to the villa that has been out of use for years. In this dreamlike landscape all the members of our company have explored the magical nature of the creative arts.

“This year’s production, more than ever, owes itself to the generous and enthusiastic contribution of over 40 actors and technicians. Our work explores the human need to find the natural world, poetry, and beauty in each and every one of our lives.”

Claudia Antolini as Countess Ilse Photograph by Raffaella Losito (1) (1)

Claudia Antolini as Countess Ilse Photograph by Raffaella Losito

In the words of Pirandello: “Souls, when they meet, have their own particular way of understanding each other, of connecting with each other, whereas our personas, when they try to relate to others, are often clumsy in their use of words, and fall into the bondage of social convention.”

The Mountain Giants will be performed in Italian, with English surtitles. Performances are at The Palmerston Room, St John’s College Cambridge, on Friday 1st March 7pm and Saturday 2nd March 4pm and 7pm

Tickets are £12 available at: Buy tickets – I Giganti Della Montagna (The Mountain Giants)

 

Facebook

Read More

Florin Buti, 19, of Ridgwell Road, London, denied rape and fraud by false representation, but he was found guilty following a trial at Peterborough Crown Court Florin Buti, 19, of Ridgwell Road, London, denied rape and fraud by false representation, but he was found guilty following a trial at Peterborough Crown Court
News1 hour ago

Three men jailed for total of more than 28 years for raping woman in Cambridge

'Buti and the other defendants in this case clearly went looking for a woman to attack'

Running between Friday 19th April until Thursday 25th April, special screenings will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Luxe cinema, Wisbech Running between Friday 19th April until Thursday 25th April, special screenings will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Luxe cinema, Wisbech
News2 hours ago

The Luxe Wisbech: 15 Years of Movie Magic!

We have always seen ourselves as part of the heart of the town

MP Steve Barclay visits Whittlesey to promote election prospects for police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston and a local Conservative by election candidate. Videos made by Mr Barclay were ordered to be removed from a town council Facebook page MP Steve Barclay visits Whittlesey to promote election prospects for police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston and a local Conservative by election candidate. Videos made by Mr Barclay were ordered to be removed from a town council Facebook page
News19 hours ago

SPECIAL REPORT: Fenland Council orders MP Steve Barclay’s videos to be removed from Whittlesey Town Council Facebook page

'I have also requested that any reference to Whittlesey Town Council is removed'

The School for Scandal is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, April 13 then touring The School for Scandal is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, April 13 then touring
News2 days ago

REVIEW: ‘Immaculate performances’ in The School for Scandal at Cambridge Arts Theatre

The School for Scandal is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, April 13

A 33-year-old man from Huntingdon has now been arrested on suspicion of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. A 33-year-old man from Huntingdon has now been arrested on suspicion of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Crime2 days ago

Police arrest man who allegedly brandished imitation firearm in Huntingdon

'At about 7pm a man produced the firearm and pointed it at someone'

Whitemoor Prison, March, Cambridgeshire, where forensics experts are looking for DNA and other evidence after a prison officer was seriously assaulted. PHOTO: Bav Media Whitemoor Prison, March, Cambridgeshire, where forensics experts are looking for DNA and other evidence after a prison officer was seriously assaulted. PHOTO: Bav Media
News3 days ago

GoFundMe appeal to help family of prisoner officer seriously injured by Whitemoor inmate

As a result of being assaulted, he has spent almost 3.5 weeks in intensive care

The Combined Authority, which is responsible for transport across the region, has awarded a contract to A2B, a local and experienced bus operator The Combined Authority, which is responsible for transport across the region, has awarded a contract to A2B, a local and experienced bus operator
News3 days ago

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson saves Littleport to Cambridge bus route

Combined Authority acts quickly to plug the gaps left by Stagecoach

Simon Brignell will be contesting Cambridge's Abbey ward for the Communist Party which is campaigning with the slogan ‘Shake up the City Council, put a communist in the Guildhall! For Peace & Socialism!’ Simon Brignell will be contesting Cambridge's Abbey ward for the Communist Party which is campaigning with the slogan ‘Shake up the City Council, put a communist in the Guildhall! For Peace & Socialism!’
News3 days ago

OPINION: Why I am standing for the Communist Party for Abbey Ward in Cambridge.

'The policies of the ultra-wealthy are being imposed upon us from the top down'

Peter Baxter says little or nothing is being done to improve the A605 through Whittlesey Peter Baxter says little or nothing is being done to improve the A605 through Whittlesey
News3 days ago

OPINION: This make and mend road is a vital link and even in its third world state it’s all we have! 

Whittlesey needs to rethink its relationship with motorised transport

Larry Connors was eventually arrested in June last year while having his hair cut at a barber’s shop in Radcliffe on Trent, Nottinghamshire. Larry Connors was eventually arrested in June last year while having his hair cut at a barber’s shop in Radcliffe on Trent, Nottinghamshire.
Crime3 days ago

Police hunt for prolific burglar ends in a barber’s shop

In 2021 he struck in Cambridgeshire at a house in Bentley Road, Cambridge