Next Best Thing productions

Directing Mirandolina

Next Best Thing productions - Mirandolina

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One of the downright funniest plays I have ever seen was the RSC's production of Goldoni's "A Servant to Two Masters" - it was like watching "The Comedy of Errors" at double speed while laughing gas was pumped into the auditorium. Mad, manic and truly memorable and an inspiration when I was looking for a follow up to our production of Gogol's "Marriage". Returning to Goldoni I discovered a recent translation of his 1753 comedy "La Locandiera". Retitled "Mirandolina" this is one of those plays that leaps off the page and demands to be performed. The characters are memorable, the situations bordering on the farcical, with some cracking dialogue smartly translated by Ranjit Bolt. It's silly, it's saucy and it's sexy. I really wanted to do justice to what I perceived as a play about real individuals with real emotions, not cartoon characters, caught up in a web of comic confusion. Mirandolina herself is that rare thing in pre-20th century drama, a truly independent woman with the power to make her own decisions (it is the men - with their insecurities and inhibitions - that appear the weaker sex). And as she is such a distinctive, almost revolutionary, character - it might even be said in her own small way she is a standard-bearer for feminism - I thought it would diminish her achievements by updating the play, so I have stayed faithful as much as possible to the period. It is fitting that Goldoni, clearly no mysoginist himself, gives his female characters literally the last laugh. I hope he would have approved of our tribute to his comic legacy.

To see the cast in rehearsal click here..


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