I don’t often use my blog to promote my work but this is important.
Two years ago with my company Legalaliens (legalaliens2007.wordpress.com) we started working at the English translation of the Italian play Il Ritorno (The Return) by Sergio Pierattini, winner of the 2008 Italian critics award in order to present this great piece of writing by one of the most significant voices in Italian contemporary theatre to English-speaking audiences.
Italian culture is very seldom translated and exported. Yes, of course, Italian art is famous, but from which century? Let’s face it, we are all still relying on the laurels of the Renaissance, ok, a couple of film directors became famous in the 1950s with Neo-Realism, and occasionally a novel manages to get to grab the attention of the world, but the truth is, most people I know outside Italy – and I mean educated people, who love theatre, arts and cinema – would seriously struggle if asked to name three contemporary Italian writers, let alone playwrights.
With LegalAliens we’re trying to fill this humongous gap, by translating Italian theatre and using bilingual Italian actors to perform our shows, in order to keep the flavour of the original, whilst offering a show in English.
Our multi lingual, inter cultural, metropolitan cities are a receptacle for people from everywhere in the world no matter in which sector you operate. And this opens new horizons to theatre: because we can stage a play from another country, in translation, but using actors who are native of the country that produced that text.
The Return is a play set in a very specific area, industrial Bergamo, and re-creating its very precise language in English has been a long and challenging process, at times exciting, at times disheartening, but always interesting. I have always been very confident about London’s openness towards everything that’s different, and London did react well to our attempt: last summer we were selected to present the show at the Camden Festival, and we sold out. People loved it, and not only those with a special link or interest towards Italy.
Encouraged by such response, we pitched the show to theatres in the US and received a positive response from theatre Exile in Philadelphia. If all goes to plan, and we find enough funds, we will perform there in autumn.
The St James Theatre in London also offered us its beautiful venue for one night.
So far so good…
But unfortunately shows require money to be produced, quite a bit of money… The British government has made huge buts recently and the arts had seen their budget slashed. Getting public help has become increasingly difficult.
That’s why in order to finance our project we’ve launched a campaign.
If you think what we do has a value and can spare even just a few pounds, we’d be incredibly grateful. We only have two weeks left.
I’ll close this post with a video of our cast talking about the project. Enjoy!