The Bathhouse (1971)
by Vladimir Majakovskij
translation by Carlo Cecchi, Italo Spinelli, Marina Spreafico
directed by Carlo Cecchi
set and costumes by Franz Prati
lights by Settimio Segnatelli
with Silvana Bertorelli, Toni Bertorelli, Carlo Cecchi, Anna D’Offizi, Gianni Guaraldi, Gigio Morra, Giancarlo Palermo, Marilù Prati, Italo Spinelli, Marina Spreafico, Massimiliano Troian; al debutto anche: Sabina De Guida, Jara Bitetti, Peter Hartaman, Manuela Morosini
preview Santarcangelo, luglio 1971
Debut Roma, Spaziozero, dicembre 1971
The Bathhouse. Presentation
by Donatella Orecchia
Carlo Cecchi, Italo Spinelli and Marina Spreafico translated and abridged Mayakovsky’s The Bathhouse from Elsa Trioler’s French edition of the play; in doing so, they chose a lens inherited from the Neapolitan theatrical tradition.
Re-modulated in an epic-grotesque key, this re-write, as stated in the programme notes, is the proof of how Brecht’s formulation of epic theatre can easily find a comfortable environment in Neapolitan theatre in dialect – a marriage of forms that expresses the complex and contradictory reality of the present and that, at the same time, makes Mayakovsky’s original intentions more immediately understandable.
The original synopsis is well-known: “Ciudakov the inventor has made a time-machine that allows for travel into the future, both there and back. The invention can’t get through the red tape imposed by public offices, nor by the obstacles posed by the supreme chief comrade Pobiedonosikov. A fluorescent woman appears from the machine, in charge of choosing the best men to accompany her into the future for the next 100 years. Pobiedonosikov the bureaucrat, imagining himself amongst the chosen few, does everything he can to arrange the future travellers’ visas and documents for travel. But the six men the woman chooses to accompany her are all workers and proletarians, and likes of Pobiedonosikov are all left at home”