Celebrated playwright, actor, director, singer and artist Dario Fo marks his 90th birthday and 70 year career with a programme of talks, workshops and performances in Edinburgh, as well as a showcase of Fo’s art in the UK for the first time, with a collection spanning three Edinburgh venues.
Dancing with Colours, Whipping with Words will electrify Edinburgh this autumn, in celebration of the importance of art as dissent and satire, which Fo and his late wife Franca Rame reveled in, and which is the basis of many a folk tale throughout history, merging Dario’s activations with the community bonding storytelling can evoke.
Dario Fo kindly gifted the Scottish International Storytelling Festival his artwork for their 2016 programme, which was received with great excitement by the Storytelling Festival staff as Lindsay Corr, Marketing and Communications Manager explains:
“We love utilising illustration for our programmes that visually encapsulates our overriding theme for the Festival each year and Dario Fo’s artwork is a perfect fit for this year’s Festival of Dreams theme. The artwork is entitled “Il Sogno” which translates to “The Dream” – so it felt like a wonderful, serendipitous pairing!”
Two areas of focus for this year’s Storytelling Festival are Starlore and Gardens, making the image a particularly suitable one, Lindsay continued:
“The bold colours amidst a starry sky, as a gathering of bodies in motion look upwards and outwards, reflect the need for us all to be continually inspired. They also highlight how autumn is the perfect time for gathering together to share stories, which always touch on dreams of one kind or another.”
Download the Storytelling Festival programme here or pick up your copy at the Centre and throughout the City in key venues including National Museum of Scotland, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the National Library of Scotland
Dario Fo’s artwork will be on show from 6-30 October at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, the Royal Lyceum Theatre and the Italian Cultural Institute. The Storytelling Centre is also hosting a performance and workshop, detailed below.
Francis the Holy Jester
Sat 8 October, 7.30pm
A rare opportunity to see Dario Fo’s monologue, performed in English by his close friend, former apprentice and leading interpreter of his work. Mario Pirovano performs with unique zest, playing cardinals, soldiers, farmers, traders, and the saint himself, in a show without props, without scenery and with the simplest of costume.
Francis The Holy Jester draws from historic texts and folk tales to bring to life medieval Italy in classic Commedia dell’arte style, both comic and moving. Pirovano’s virtuoso solo performance is for anyone who enjoys a good story lovingly crafted and expertly told with insight, vivacity and humour.
The Second time as Farce
Wed 12 October, 10am
“History repeats itself. The first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce.” (Karl Marx)
This one-off workshop is an invitation to learn, explore and then empower yourselves to create your own contemporary and relevant comic farce, with Olly Crick and Frances Rifkin.
A collaboration between two experts in their fields, the workshop is suitable for all performers, theorists and activists. Frances Rifkin, who trained and worked with Augusto Boal, will lead the opening session focusing through Boal’s Image Theatre. Olly Crick, a practitioner and published author on Commedia, will lead the second section, using Masks to add definition and comic agency to the subject matter developed in the workshop and the Commedia form to embody the chosen themes into a dramatic format. Comfortable clothing that you can move in is advised.