Theatre of the Third Age

The regional schools theatre season has been on at Bagni di Lucca’s Teatro Accademico since 28th April. It’s due to finish on the 14th of May when the jury will award prizes for the best productions. All schools from all parts of Tuscany are represented: from primary to secondary and from Follonica to Florence. The standard can be remarkably high and the jury must have a tough job in deciding who the winners will be.

Last evening, however, I didn’t attend a play with young people.  ‘Sogno di una notte di mezza estate’ (I’ll leave you to work out which Shakespeare play that is in English) was acted by members of ‘L’Allegra Compagnia’ none of whom are under the age of fifty and most of whom are new to acting.

Freely adapted and shortened from the Shakespeare play (no Pyramus and Thisbe, for example) it was, nevertheless a pleasing effort and certainly got the audience involved. There were, of course, a few fluffs and wrong entries but somehow these seemed to add to the whole effect. The evening was presented by Claudio Sassetti, our resident tenor, who is taking a very active part in the theatre season.

Shakespeare truly travels wonderfully and bears up well to what directors do to him. My school English teacher felt that there could never be a production of his plays that would truly satisfy him and preferred reading the plays rather than seeing them performed. All the same, it’s most interesting to get this Italian over-fifties theatrical group view of Shakespeare.

For more about relationship between Shakespeare and Italy see my post at:

At the end of the performance and after the applause there were the usual speeches. These were followed by an amateur film from over twenty years ago. Can any sharp-eyed local recognise anyone in this clip?

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The full programme of what’s on at the Teatro Accademico is on the notice board outside the theatre.

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There’s also a booklet showing what’s on in closer detail available from the theatre. If you’re in the area and learning Italian here’s your chance to practice your listening skills!


2 thoughts on “Theatre of the Third Age

  1. Well I like to both hear and view Shakespeare performed on stage possibly at the Globe Theatre with Groundlings who add to he performance of the play with heckles and throwing of oranges (we too have often been there too!) great audience participation rowdy and fun. I like to see Shakespeare in Elizabethan costume and possibly an all male cast as was the custom now only reserved for the Dame unique in English Pantomime usually around Christmas time. Lighting too must have been a few flaming fiery torches unlike the full colourful spectrum we have today would be nice to view the authentic lighting I guess it would be rather dark and sombre like some of his plays. One wonders also about who this Shakespeare really was it is still a mystery even today. Well no I do not recognise anyone in the film clip this is a cliffhanger please let us know soon.

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