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C’erano una volta le fiabe – Italo Calvino e le radici dell’immaginario italiano

Calvino fiabe

Monday 11 December, 6pm

C’erano una volta le fiabe – Italo Calvino e le radici dell’immaginario italiano

A performance on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Italo Calvino’s birth

Written and directed by Leonardo Petrillo

With Maurizio Caste’, Manuel Fiorentini, Sharon Amato, Vito Capito, Annachiara Fanelli and Anastasia Marino


Fairy tales only happen in imaginary places, same as dreams, and like dreams they speak to our subconscious, they let us see the invisible that we want to see: unleash our fantasy to figure out the reality.

In the theatre (performing arts),  the oldest factory of dreams, we find the origins of the tales that Italo Calvino started collecting and translating from the various dialects they were written in, towards the end of WWII. The job had been commissioned by Giulio Einaudi, with the aim of re-uniting a disrupted nation, through archetypes that people would recognise. And who better for the job than the great writer, the son of Eva Mameli, descendant of the Italian anthem’s composer Goffredo Mameli? Calvino accepted, aware that those tales made of flesh, voice, emotions, passed from mouth to mouth, are so effective in bringing us together. The tales are the past and the present, archaic myths for all ages. We need them, in order to think outside the box, use our imagination and find new ideas. We will not be saved by rationality – but only by creativity.

The performance starts with a narrator, talking about Calvino on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Suddenly the lights are off. While people wait for the fault to be fixed, six characters arrive on the candlelit scene. They are the voices of the tales that Calvino has collected, the narrations of the people, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Alps, told in an old dialect that, quoting Andrea Zanzotto, tastes like a drop of Eva’s milk. Theatremakers, like ancient mariners, tell their tales, true or imaginary, same as children, who don’t know for sure if the stories are real or not…because they are a bit of both.

Book your place HERE

Produced by Gitiesse Artisti Riuniti, directed by Geppy Gleijeses

  • Organizzato da: ICI London
  • In collaborazione con: GItiesse artisti riuniti