Carlo Goldoni’s Mirandolina: eighteenth century comedy; twentieth century anti-fascism; twenty-first century feminism

This video is called Ester Pascual Busquets: La Mirandolina.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Her own woman

(Thursday 20 July 2006)

Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

PAUL FOLEY praises Raquel Cassidy’s Mirandolina, who exposes the absurdity of macho society with her sexy feminine guile.

Try to imagine a dramatic landscape cleft from Sheridan and Moliere, fused with Kurt Weill and you will get the picture of the Royal Exchange’s production of Carlo Goldoni‘s Mirandolina.

Although not quite hitting the sharpness of the former or the political astuteness of the latter, this is still a very creditable and enjoyable production.

For an 18th century Venetian lawyer, Goldoni’s canon was impressive. He churned out over 150 plays.

Given the period and his class, his work is extremely progressive, especially in the way in which he drew his women characters.

At a time when women were viewed as mere possessions of their husbands or fathers, Goldoni often gave them an independent role at the heart of his work.

Mirandolina, whose original title was Lacondiera, was almost revolutionary by pitching the main character as an independent businesswoman.

Inheriting a decrepit old inn from her father, Mirandolina struggles to keep the business afloat.

As a single women with property, she becomes a very attractive prospect for would-be suitors.

Some, like the wealthy Count Albafiorita, try to buy her affection, while the bankrupted Marquess of Forlipopoli woos her with the faded grandeur of his aristocratic title and position.

Mirandolina plays the two lovers off against each other with great skill, but she is incensed when a new guest to her establishment shows no interest in her.

Determined to break the heart of the confirmed misogynist, Mirandolina sets about ensnaring Ripafrata.

Ranjit Bolt updated the translation of the play in 1995 and wove a tapestry of song and dance into Goldoni’s fabric.

The result not only refreshed the play but gave it a classic cabaret feel akin to a Brecht or Weill production.

This, coupled with director Jonathan Munby’s decision to set the play in Mussolini’s Italy of the 1930s, adds a slightly sinister edge.

The Royal Exchange is one of the great theatrical spaces in British theatre and Mike Britton uses it to wonderful effect, creating a surprisingly beautiful, ramshackle inn.

The acting is enthusiastic and full of energy. In particular, Ian Bartholomew as Count Albafiorita makes a splendidly sleazy fascist whose only philosophy is that “money is the route to absolute power.”

On Bertolt Brecht: here.

On Brecht’s Mother Courage: here.

Brecht in Hollywood: here.

Brecht and Brazil: here.

Brecht‘s Galileo: here.

Brecht’s Fear and misery in the Third Reich: here.

German actor Geschonneck: here.

Actor Ekkehard Schall: here.

On Eugenio Barba: here.

Giorgio Strehler: here.

1 thought on “Carlo Goldoni’s Mirandolina: eighteenth century comedy; twentieth century anti-fascism; twenty-first century feminism

  1. Pingback: Gisela May, German singer, actress dies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.