Created for the Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Cheek by Jowl today announce the cast for their first Italian language production; Thomas Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy, in a new translation by Stefano Massini (The Lehman Trilogy). This collaboration marks the first in an ongoing relationship between the two companies.
Declan Donnellan today commented “It is great to be working with the Piccolo Teatro. Our friendship with them goes back a long way and we are grateful finally to make a new piece with old friends. Realising this anarchic drama in Italy where the play unfolds was a huge privilege, as is the opportunity to share it with our London audiences.”
Intrigue, corruption, lust and the thirst for power collide in a 17th century Italian court in this Jacobean drama. Seeking retribution for the murder of his fiancée by the Duke, Vindice is drawn into a terrible helter-skelter of punishment that throws his very identity into crisis.
Written by Shakespeare’s contemporary Thomas Middleton at a time of growing social unease, the play reveals a government embroiled in shady affairs and a society obsessed with money, social status and fame.
Created by Cheek by Jowl’s director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod for Milan’s renowned Piccolo Teatro, The Revenger’s Tragedy is transformed into a macabre dance of death and performed by a charismatic ensemble of Italian actors - of which 10 are recent graduates from the Piccolo Drama School - Ivan Alovisio (Lussurioso), Marco Brinzi (Judge), Fausto Cabra (Vindice), Flavio Capuzzo Dolcetta (Junior), Christian Di Filippo (Supervacuo), Raffaele Esposito (Ippolito), Ruggero Franceschini (Bishop), Pia Lanciotti (The Duchess/Graziana), Errico Liguori (Spurio), Marta Malvestiti (Castizia), David Meden (Ambizioso), Massimiliano Speziani (The Duke), Beatrice Vecchione (Doctor), and Marouane Zotti (Jailer).
The production continues its international tour with performances at Piccolo Teatro Strehler, Milan (22-28 February), Barbican Theatre, London, where the company are Artistic Associates (4-7 March – press night on 4 March at 7.45pm), Centro Dramático Nacional, Madrid (11-14 March) and Les Gémeaux, Sceaux - Paris (18 March-2 April).
Declan Donnellan directs. He is joint Artistic Director of Cheek by Jowl with Nick Ormerod, with whom he has directed over 40 productions. These include Fuenteovejuna, Sweeney Todd, and both parts of Angels in America for the National Theatre. Other directing credits include The School for Scandal (RSC), Shakespeare in Love (Noël Coward Theatre), Antigone (The Old Vic), Le Cid (Avignon Festival), Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet (Bolshoi Ballet), and The Winter’s Tale (Maly Drama Theatre, St. Petersburg). His first film Bel Ami was co-directed with Nick Ormerod. In 1999, together they were invited to form a company of actors in Moscow; productions with this company include Boris Godunov (2000), Twelfth Night, Three Sisters, The Tempest, Measure for Measure and most recently, The Knight of the Burning Pestle (2019).
Declan Donnellan has won awards both in the UK and internationally. These include three Olivier Awards; Director of the Year, Best Director of a Play and the Olivier for Outstanding Achievement (1990). He was made Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France and received the Golden Lion of Venice for Lifetime Achievement in 2016. Last year, 2019, in Moscow he received both the Golden Mask and the Stanislavski Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Theatre. His first book The Actor and the Target was originally published in 2000 has since appeared in 15 languages.
The Revenger’s Tragedy is performed in Italian with English surtitles. Age guidance 16+ years.
Presented by the Barbican
Cheek by Jowl and Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa, in a co-production with Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione.