Exciting announcement from the Henley Players.
Our Spring 2020 production is the famous Italian comedy Saturday Sunday Monday by Eduardo de Filippo, and readings will be held on 29th and 31st October at Harpsden Hall at 8.00p.m., followed by auditions on 5th and 6th November, same time, same place. The show dates are 1st to 4th April 2020.
This will be directed for us by Teri Zambigli and is the final part of a project called Pane ed Eduardo (“Bread and Eduardo”), a documentary about Eduardo de Felippo’s legacy in the English-speaking theatre, which is being written and filmed by Teri. This is an exciting project for the Henley Players to be involved in and rehearsals will be filmed as will at least one of the shows. There is a big cast with parts for all ages so we are starting as soon as possible to cast the show. Please note that there may be further auditions later to complete the cast. We need as much support as possible so do come along and see what it is all about. Teri has asked us to make clear that no-one will be expected to assume an “Italian” accent, if your character has any short Italian phrases e.g. Bon appetite, buona note, buona sera, Tutti and so on, Teri will make sure you know how to pronounce them. Otherwise the action will be entirely in English!
The play synopsis and character summaries are below:
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
By Eduardo De Filippo
A comedy in three acts
Naples, early 1960s. It looks like any other weekend in the Priore family house. Mrs Rosa Priore spends her Saturday preparing her famous ‘ragú’ sauce, although she betrays a nervousness made worse by her husband Peppino, who tells her off with the most trivial pretexts and vents his anger at all surrounding him. Starting with his son, who seeks his grandfather’s advice rather than Peppino’s; then his daughter Giulianella, caught in a quarrel with her fiancé; finally, aunt Memè, guilty of pestering her son with useless medical advice.
Tension within the Priore family mounts until it reaches boiling point the next day. The Priores have invited to their traditional Sunday lunch their neighbours, accountant Luigi Ianniello and his wife. Luigi is a congenial and outgoing, albeit slightly overbearing friend to the Priores, especially Rosa. This causes Peppino to mistake Luigi’s kindness for a romantic interest, leading to an outburst of jealousy that spoils the lunch, and the day, for everybody involved.
The outburst is a result of years of accumulated misunderstandings which have undermined the Priore marriage. Rosa is so upset by the scene that she falls ill and is bedridden, assisted by her relatives. In the meantime, her husband regrets his behaviour and feels misunderstood by everybody.
Finally Monday arrives. The Priores reflect more calmly on what has happened and understand that, deep down, the reason that made the couple fight is actually the love that still binds them. Rosa and Peppino finally express to each other the feelings they have suppressed for years: now, their love, and the memories of their love, are reborn for a new start.
Peppino Priore – A good-looking man in his fifties, healthy looking, but otherwise an average middle-class business owner.
Rosa Priore – Peppino’s wife, Rosa is a proud and practical woman. She is a housewife who runs her home and family as a sea captain with his crew.
Giulianella, Rocco and Roberto – Peppino and Rosa’s children. Giulianella is 19 or 20 years old and strives to emancipate herself from the traditional expectations of young women in that period. Rocco, slightly older, is clever, energetic, funny and has business acumen. Roberto is the eldest child, less charismatic than his siblings but by far the more level headed.
Antonio Piscopo, Rosa’s father – Antonio is now a retired hat maker, still obsessed with fashion. He recognises himself in his beloved grandson Rocco.
Amelia Priore, called Memé, Peppino’ sister – She is a very intelligent woman, but a hypocondriac who is overprotective of her son Attilio, who has learning difficulties.
Attilio, Amelia’s son – Attilio is in his late twenties, but due to a learning disorder and his mother’s overbearing behaviour, he acts like a 12 year old.
Raffaele Priore, Peppino’s brother – Raffaele is an actor with the local Am-Dram group, specialised in portraying Pulcinella, the typical Neapolitan mask from the Commedia dell’Arte.
Federico, Rocco’s friend – Federico is also Giulianella’s boyfriend, who opposes her emancipated views because of his jealousy.
Maria Carolina, Roberto’s wife – Maria Carolina is beautiful, good cook, and as level headed as her husband.
Luigi Ianniello, the Priores’ neighbour – Luigi is a warm-hearted accountant. He is in love with the Priore family and with Rosa’s cooking style. However this is mistaken by Peppino to be an infatuation with his wife.
Elena Ianniello, Luigi’s wife – Elena is sociable, sweet natured and as congenial as her husband.
Virginia, the Priores’ maid – Virginia does her best to help at home but is easily distracted by her personal and family problems, which she confides to Rosa.
Michele, Virginia’s brother – He is an ex-convict, ill-tempered and very scary looking.
Doctor Cerfecola, a family friend – He is one of the guests at the Sunday lunch and will help Rosa after she is bedridden.
Catiello, a tailor – Catiello is a friend of Antonio’s, Rosa’s father.