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Dario Fo & Franca Rame - Theatre, Politics, Life, Hardback Book

Dario Fo & Franca Rame - Theatre, Politics, Life Hardback



Dario Fo (1926-2016), actor, playwright, theatre director, stage designer, political activist, artist and author who, having attained international fame in theatre, produced the first of his six novels at the age of 88 - was there any limit to his versatile genius?

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997, and works such as Accidental Death of an Anarchist or Can't Pay?

Won't Pay secured his reputation as the outstanding political playwright of his age.

Unlike other writers of a similar mind, Fo's chosen genre was farce, so his drama is a uniquely engaging mixture of laughter and anger.

In 1954 he married Franca Rame (1929-2013), a member of a family-company of touring players.

The personal and professional partnership of the two over sixty years was probably unique in theatre history.

Her inherited, instinctive knowledge of stagecraft was invaluable to him, but although she was always recognised as an actor of considerable talent, her contribution to the writing of the plays was long undervalued.

With the emergence of the feminist movement she increasingly asserted herself, notably with a series of one-woman works she wrote and performed.

She became one of Italy's and Europe's leading feminist campaigners, and as such a target for right-wing terrorist groups.

In 1973, she was kidnapped and raped by neo-Fascist thugs.

Although the subjects of their plays, with their fearless attacks on corruption and satire of Popes and politicians, were often taken from the headlines of the day, their theatre was deeply rooted in theatrical tradition.

The Nobel Prize citation stated that Fo 'emulated the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden', but this political campaigning came at a cost.

The couple's militant reputation meant that they were for many years barred from Italian television and banned from entering the USA, but their plays were staged from London to Tokyo and they themselves were acclaimed wherever they toured.

Joseph Farrell translated many of their works and knew Dario and Franca well.

His biography is a complete account of the various activities and multifaceted lives of two extraordinary individuals.


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