At last ‘Mistero Buffo’ comes to Malta after a whole 30 years of grotesque struggles… unfortunately enough without Dario Fo but fortunately enough with his heir, Mario Pirovano.
The Strada Stretta Concept, under the auspices of the Valletta 2018 Foundation presents ‘Dario Fo A Malta’, monologues & a workshop interpreted by Mario Pirovano, under the artistic direction of Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci.
Date: 14th September 2017, 8:00PM, Strada Stretta, near the Splendid. Entrance is free.
The burlesque and grotesque as the most subversive tools in the hands of Dario Fo & Franca Rame were transformed into lethal weapons against the establishment, be it political, economic or ecclesiastical.
As Stuart Hood says: Fo’s genius as both a player and synthesizer of the historical past allows him to resurrect before our eyes and ears, a whole anti-history philosophy proposing on the contrary a history of the unwritten: the real history.
As the pure simpleton, the Maltese ‘Gaħan’, the Italian Arlechino goes on the attack: ‘Gaħan’ plays the central role in all ‘Mistero Buffo’s’ biblical stories for the first time seen not through the eyes of saints but through the eyes of pure simpletons. Another ‘Gaħan’ discovers America and we see this journey towards genocidal destruction not through heroes of armies and battleships but through the eyes of a ‘Gaħan’.
Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s fight against the establishment has become today a myth and a legend were it not for the real price they had to pay: the kidnapping and collective rape of Franca Rame by Fascist thugs, the Christian Democratic 1950-60s authoritarian censorship on film, theatre, and broadcasting, police presence in all Fo’s productions, the Canzonissima scandal, and so many others.
Dario Fo was an Italian actor–playwright, comedian, singer, theatre director, stage designer, songwriter, painter, political campaigner for the Italian left-wing and the recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature. In his time he was “arguably the most widely performed contemporary playwright in world theatre”. Much of his dramatic work depends on improvisation and comprises the recovery of “illegitimate” forms of theatre, such as those performed by gjiullari (medieval strolling players) and, more famously, the ancient Italian style of the commedia dell’arte.
Dario Fo/Franca Rame’s and Mario Pirovano’s connection with Malta dates back to the late 80s with Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci’s ‘Teatru Strada Stretta’ linking Maltese Għana to Fo’s idea and development of commedia dell’arte.
Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci considers Dario Fo as one of his main mentors. Besides having been Dario Fo’s official representative in Malta, Schembri Bonaci translated and directed several works: Mistero Buffo, Johann ha scoperto l’America, Gli Arcangeli non giocano a flipper, and others.
The monologue will be interpreted by Mario Pirovano (b.Milan, 20 April 1950) who is an Italian theatrical actor, storyteller, translator and interpreter of Dario Fo’s monologues. His performances contribute to spread Fo’s art in the world.
Mario Pirovano grew up in Pregnana Milanese, a small village just out of Milan. At the age of 12 he worked in a local shop, at the age of 24 he moved to England, where for about 10 years he did all sort of jobs. In 1983 he saw Dario Fo and Franca Rame performing Mistero Buffo at the Riverside Studios in London, and from then on he identified his life with the works of Dario Fo.
Since 1983 Mario Pirovano has taken part in all the works produced by Dario Fo and Franca Rame as an actor or assistant producer, stage director or simultaneous interpreter. In 1987 with Fo and Rame he acted in the programme “Forced Broadcast”, shown in eight episodes on a national television channel (Rai 3). In 1991 he played a part in the film ‘Blue Lights Murder’, director Alfonso Brescia.