The husband leaves her for someone a lot younger. She gets desperate and bitter. Two friends move into her flat to support her and they all decide to ban men from their lives. A gay lodger moves in and then there’s a hetero male and all chaos starts to be let loose. This is the basic plot of Jean-Marie’s comic farce ‘Les Amazones’, translated into the Italian stage as ‘Tre donne in cerca di guai’ or ‘three women looking for trouble.’
The plot suggests there’s going to be plenty afoot: sex without pornography, smutty talk without vulgarity, suggestive banter, levity without superficiality. It’s a play typical of the ‘sexy cinema – Italian style’ of the seventies and eighties which produced such immortal movies as the Emmanuelle series.
The play starred Corinne Clery, Barbara Bouchet and Iva Zanicchi.
Lively French-born Corinne starred in the Bond Movie ‘Moonraker’ and the controversial erotic film ‘The Story of O’. Here she is in action in a witty unstrip-tease:
German-born Barbara Bouchet started her career modelling and then made over eighty films. Here she is in action in a great precursor of belly/pole dancing:
Iva Zanicchi is one of Italy’s legendary singers on a par with Mina but she is also author, politician and actor. She was certainly the biggest attraction (in all senses of the word) of Bagni’s champagne-theatre night out.
Here is La Zanicchi singing her greatest hit – ‘Un Fiume Amaro’ (A Bitter Stream) and specially composed for her by the great Mikis Theodorakis:
The fact that all three actors are over or approaching seventy gives the lie to old-fashioned chronological age expectations. Their performances were sexy, full of energy and beautifully risqué humour. The trio are truly a role model for mature women who’d like to continue having fun even though they may be old enough to be grandmothers. The slang term is, naturally, ‘cougar’ and, not unexpectedly, the audience in Bagni’s packed Teatro Accademico consisted largely of mature women and rather few males;
Fortunately I was able to survive thanks to the company of my wife.
The evening was a triumph of stage-craft and fine acting. One had to be quite good in understanding Italian for the lines were often delivered punchily fast and one had to be fluent in Italian sex slang. Just to give one example: ‘uccello’ not only means ‘bird’ in Italian but also ‘penis’. So ‘birdwatching’ among Italian women has a completely different connotation from ‘bird-watching’ among UK males. So, men, beware….
The play was slickly directed by Nizasio Anzelmo and produced by A. C. Spettacoli Teatrali. Needless to say, it is scoring a huge success in its tour throughout Italy.
The prosecco and sangria freely served during the interval added to the atmosphere of erogenous amusement which spread to all the faces and beyond among the evening’s audience.
Which reminds me we’ll be treading the boards as members of CIAK, the theatre training group taught by Guendalina Tambellini, Michela Innocenti and Claudio Sassetti this Wednesday at Bagni’s Teatro in ‘Luci di Natale’ (Christmas lights). I don’t think there’ll be any wild sex talk in the production but the mistletoe will make an appearance….
If you’re around in Bagni do come along. It’s free to see us become stars before your very eyes (I sincerely trust!).