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edoardo erba

THE PLAYS

 

Marathon

One act. Two characters. Dramatic comedy.

Two friends are training together for the New York Marathon. But it is a strange night, and one of the two does not recognise the route or remember how he got there. He later discovers that he has been involved in a road accident and is in a coma.

Available in English, English-American, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Croatian, Bulgarian, French, German.

English Premiere: London, Gate Theatre, 1999
with: Ciaran Mcmenamin, Ben Waters
English version by Colin Teevan
Directed by Mick Gordon

...the physical feat of this production was impressive in itself, but the beautiful choreography and excellent text delivery really made this an evening of theatre, difficult to forget. LONDON THEATRE
 
...this is essentially a classic theatrical double-act in the tradition of Beckett's Didi and Gogo or Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and Erba's text gets efficiently, entertainingly and intelligently from A to its unspecified B without outstaying its welcome...  FINANCIAL TIMES

READ THE REVIEWS
La Vanguardia 1997
Guardian - Evening Standard - Indipendent 1999
Herald 1999
Time Out - Daily Telegraph - Sunday Times
What's on - Observer - The Times 1999

Wellington 2001
Buenos Aires 2003
La Vanguardia 2010
Diari de Terrassa 2010

 

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The Builders

Two acts. Three characters.

Comedy - Two masons are working overnight to build a wall which will block the stage of an old and unused theatre: the whole area has been sold and the building is going to be used for storage. But in the theatre there are still some strange presences ready to appear and still provoque emotions. So the two men encounter an enigmatic and sexy miss Giulia who will upset them and change their lives.

Available in English, German, French, Swedish.

German Premiere: Frankfurt Oder, 2004
with: Cornelia Heyse, Dirk Audhem, Murali Perumal
German version by Sabine Heymann
Directed by Matthias Brenner

READ THE REVIEWS
Oderzeitung 2004

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Salesmen

Two acts. Six characters. Dramatic comedy.

A salesman is let go as a result of a bit of dirty office politics by his manager, who is carrying out a restructuring of the company. The manager in turn is let go by the managing director, for even though he faithfully carried out his orders, he let too many people go and is now very unpopular with the sales force. During a night of chemical-induced delirium, when dreams take on the solidity of reality, a hitch-hiker rises up to defend all consumers and he fires the managing director on the spot.

Available in German, French, Hungarian.

German premiere: Wilhelmshaven 2011
With Seven Brormann, Johannes Simons, Gernot Schmidt, Amelie Miloy, Aom Flury, Wibke Quast
Directed by Jan Steinbach

READ THE REVIEWS
Die deutsche Bühne 2011
Wilhelmshaven 2011
Nacht Kritik.de 2011

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Margarita and the cock

Three acts. Five characters. Comedy

We are in Florence during the XVIth century. Hannibal, in order to get an important job at Court , promises a Viscount that he will allow him to have a sexual relationship with his wife. But his wife, at the last moment, does not turn up to the arranged meeting. So with a trick he substitutes his wife with the young servant Margarita. Margarita is the daughter of a witch and immediately suspects what the matter is: therefore thanks to a spell her mother taught her, she transforms herself into Hannibal. The magic proves successful.

Available in Catalan, French.

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Without Hitler

Two acts. Four characters. Dramatic comedy

In another dimension we suppose that Hitler is a painter. In his pictures he paints what in real life he has done: war and concentration camps – At the age of sixty, after a life full of artistic failures, he is interviewed by a young journalist: Anne Frank.

Available in English.

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Dejavu

Three acts. Two character. Dramatric

Two lovers, a youg man and a older woman in the garden of a conutry villa. They fall asleep and awake at night to a strange drama: has the area been contaminated by a nuclear accident? What's the real nature of their relationship? Was what they experienced true or is it just a nightmare? If it proves to be a nightmare, the reality is even worse...

Available in English, German.

German Premiere: Deutsches Schaulpielhaus, Amburgo 2002

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The Family Vice

Two acts. Five characters. Comedy.

Disillusioned by her past sentimental failures, a woman decides to hire a family to spend her holidays with. She goes to an agency, where a skilful salesman succeeds in renting her a horrible family. After a day at home with the family, the poor woman calls the agent to cancel the contract. But she finds that she cannot, for in her enthusiasm to conclude the agreement, the woman signed for ten years.

Available in English, Spanish.

English Premiere: Warehouse Theatre, Croydon 2003
Directed by Massimo Marinoni

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Porco selvatico

Two acts. Four characters. Dramatic comedy.

A man enters a bar and notices that a man is hanging where there used to be a chandelier. Moved by good intentions, the man expresses his desire to free the poor fellow, but the bartender and his woman - who are either the villains or the victims of the situation - confuse the man to the point where, at the end of the play, he becomes the executioner.

Available in English.

Usa premiere: Stages Theatre, Los Angeles, 1991
With Grace Zabrinsky, Paul Verdier, Paul Skemp, John Walcutt
English version by Paul Verdier e Alessandra Coli
Directed by Paul Verdier

... This is an enlightening and thoroughly by entertaining night at the theatre. By all means go see if you can...
(Critic's Choice. Dai Kornberg, Drama-Logue 1991)

... Erba's ominously funny and disturbing tale is an existential close encounter, a confrontation with the savage heart of darkness that lurks deep in the repressed recesses of our civilized soul...
(Clifford Gallo, Reader, 1991)

... In spite of its abstractions and flaws Porco Selvatico succeds because its point - that each of us is capable of far more evil than we thought possible - has so much terrifyng truthturstyurs...
(Deborah Klugman, Village Voice, 1991)

READ THE REVIEWS
Los Angeles Reader 1991

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The night of Picasso


One act. Two characters. Dramatic comedy.

Two mental hospital patients meet in the hallway every night to write a film. Their work, however, has been at a standstill for years, blocked over a minor detail in a secondary scene. During a night of creative fury, and after having founded the new art of the next millennium, one of the two realises that he is the Messiah.

Available in English, Portugaise.

Usa premiere: Stages Theatre, Los Angeles 1990
with Paul Skemp and David Duensing
Directed by Paul Verdier

... The mixed sense of fun, perversion and surrealism... All the life is in the mind and the reality is wahtever you choose it to be...
(Sylvie Drake, Los Angeles Times, 29 Gennaio 1991)

... Shade of Backett, Ionesco and Kafka pervade this humorous, well-wrought one-act py Italian playwright Edoardo Erba...
(Reader, 1 Febbraio 1991)

... It's Kafka! It's Kaka with humor...
(Polly Warfield, Drama-Logue, 24-30 Gennaio 91)

... It recalls the humor of Gogol, with the Charm of Italo Calvino and Fellini
(LA Weekly, 1-7 Marzo 1991)

READ THE REVIEWS
Los Angeles Times 1991

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Radical Obstruction

Monologue. Comedy.

The last twenty minutes of a 48-hour marathon speech by a member of parliament. Exhausted, the man no longer remembers what law he is opposing and begins to rave, mixing political ideas, his bodily needs, and bits of autobiography.

Available in English.

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The Italian drama


Three acts. Ten characters. Drama.

Rjieka, Yugoslavia. 1948. In a house in which many families are forced to live together, Polan – the new entry – meets Elsa, an ex-actress who has become dumb through an ictus. While the other Italian people are in doubt whether to remain in Yugoslavia (where they will speak Croatian) or emigrate to Italy, Polan tries to teach Italian to the dumb actress.

Available in Croatian, French.

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Animals in the fog

13 scenes. Six characters. Drama

On a foggy day two facts are happening simultaneously: a hunt-beating and a “mystery” performance.
The hunt is troubled by a boy who, through the sound of a drum, makes the animals escape; in the meantime the preparation for the performance is complicated by an improvised scenographer who decides quite personally to hang three men , on three crosses that were supposed to be empty. The night falls and the thick fog produces a sort of separation which cannot be trespassed. So the scenographer is spending a night full of anguish in the company of a hunter and his wife, while-on the other side-the performance is deferred, but since nobody knows about the three men hanging, nobody can help them. And what should have been a performance becomes real , through terrible suffering.

Available in French, Russian.

Russian premiere: San Pietroburgo 2011

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The North Wall

One act. Three characters. Dramatic Comedy

A boaster man of fifty takes his short-sighted and shy boy of ten with him to climb the tough wall of a mountain. The child loses his glasses and must depend for everything on his father, who is in big trouble for having lost the way. Gradually his son understands that both in the mountians and in life, he must cope by himself.

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Smallpox

One act. Two characters. Comedy

An archeologist and a famous teacher meet underground in the future, on a well preserved stage, the last discovery of a civility that has no recollection of what Theatre is anymore. The logic inductions of the teacher enlighten the matter: the Theatre had been like a hospital in which the ancient disease, smallpox, was treated.

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Human Tissue

One act. Three characters. Dramatic comedy.

During an autopsy, the dead man gets up and starts a conversation with the coroner and his typist. He has no idea who he was when alive, and asks the others for information and explanations.

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Blind Curve

Four acts. Seven characters. Drama.

The dramatic story of love and drugs of Achille Varzi, the Formula One driver and historic rival of Tazio Nuvolari.

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Good News

Two acts. Two characters. Dramatic comedy.

Two women go door-to-door predicting that the end of the world is at hand. Mixing biblical quotations, paradoxical statements, and common cliche', they tell their truth to a Guest who we never see, yet who disturbs us. Months, perhaps years later, the two sisters go back to the same place, but the situation has drastically changed. Something irreparable has happened in the world, and we find that the Guest is probably not human.

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The Man of My Life

Four scenes. Three characters. Comedy.

A boy describes the night that she was conceived, which was also the night when her parents met for the first time. If the boy was not there to provide the proof, no one would ever bet on the positive outcome of a meeting between such different people.

 

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The Hoarder

Two acts. Four characters. Dramatic comedy

Orsina is a ‘hoarder’, who is not aware of her discomfort. The neighbours, who hate her obsession for accumulating stuff, blame her for being responsible for the building’s filth, saying it originates from her apartment. They want her to move out, so they hire a building administrator named Aristide since, being full of debts, he can be easily blackmailed. Aristide, touched by Orsina’s affection to each and every object, believes he will be able to help her clear everything up.

 

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The Trouts

Two acts. Three characters. Dramatic comedy

Maurizio, a forty year old mechanic, receives his medical results, which leave little hope. He discovers they are not his: they belong to a stranger, Luigi. Maurizio meets him on the shores of the Aniene River, with the intention of handing them back. Luigi is a fisherman in his sixties, elated for the impending marriage to a woman from Romania. Maurizio though, does not have the courage to hand him the medical papers. A year later, it’s Luigi who brings bad news to Maurizio, though this time it has nothing to do with medical results, because in the meantime, something strange and disturbing has happened.

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Travelling With Albert

One act. Twelve characters. Comedy

Italy, 1895. Sixteen year old Einstein, a passenger on a train from Milan to Genoa, meets a girl whom he falls in love with and is witness to a strange incident of a supposed theft. The inquiry of the theft is conducted by the young Einstein himself and makes him prematurely guess the principle of relativity.

Available in English.

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Michelina

Two acts. Six characters. Musical

Italy, 1948. To make a saint takes three miracles, but Sister Ercolina has only made two happen. While looking for the third one, Cardinal Dorigo ends up meeting Michelina, a rice weeder, who has become an improvised showgirl, dancing in some mediocre dance halls along with an unsuccessful crooner. Cardinal Dorigo and Michelina fall in love. Hierarchy attempts to divide them, but it will be the saint herself to unite them. Because love is the true miracle.

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THE PLAYS
the available texts in translation could be requested by email