The signing of a contract for our first theatre production to be performed in English: Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. This was followed by a number of other productions in successive theatrical seasons.
Some of the most important literary works were performed in the most important Italian cities: An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde, Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, The Caretaker by Harold Pinter, Animal Farm by George Orwell, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Later in the year, we started to support the shows with workshops and educational meetings (in middle and high schools, as well as elementary schools) with mother tongue English speaking actors.
Molière’s L’Avare went on tour. With this, French theatre was added to our Company repertoire that was enriched with works such as Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, Rhinocéros by Eugène Ionesco and, again by Molière, Le Malade Imaginaire and L’Amour Medécin.
This year saw the debut on the Italian theatre scene with a musical version of La Locandiera by Carlo Goldoni. This opera had the aim of creating enthusiasm in both young people and adults, attracting them to classical theatre thanks to newer and more stimulating scenic language.
The idea of a rock and roll version came from the English director Andrea Brooks, who created a strange, yet successful combination of Mirandolina and Madonna, with the “corset” acting as the connecting element. The story alternated with a series of Broadway-style musical “entr’actes” in which actors dealt with creative choreographies. All without changing a single word of Goldoni’s script.
After the success of La Locandiera we continued with Luigi Pirandello’s Il Berretto a Sonagli. The interpretation used by the director Andrea Taddei (winner of the UBU prize for “Dramaturgical Research” in 1993) was documentary TV, a live family psycho-drama. Thus, Taddei used the metaphor of television, the indiscreet medium per excellence, to reinterpret Pirandello’s tragic comedy as a talk show where the actors and the audience are involved in a role play that the television medium restores and amplifies.
Our success, in particular with the adult public, resulted in the official recognition by the Centro Studi Pirandelliani that hosted the production in Agrigento in December, 1996, at the International Convention dedicated to the playwright.
The performance of La Locandiera at Teatro Litta in Milan where the critics “discovered” our Company. “This Locandiera by Goldoni presented at Teatro Litta by the Company Il Palchetto Stage (…) is a pleasant surprise (…) All the actors were enjoyable and full of enthusiasm.” (Umberto Simonetta – Il Giornale).
We were invited to perform La Locandiera at the “2nd Festival of Italian Theatre” that took place in New York at the Sylvia & Danny Kaye Playhouse Theatre on December 2 and 3, 1996.
Our first English musical production Twist & Shout!, by Simon Jermond, was performed: a look at the main events of the 1960s narrated over the notes of the Beatles’ greatest hits.
William Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew ,reworked by Andrea Taddei with an all-male cast and set in a contemporary play-house was a production in Italian. It was performed at the Fraschini Theatre in Pavia as part of the “Alternatives” project sponsored by the Region of Lombardy.
Following our great success with The Taming Of The Shrew: we participated at the Festival Nazionale Vetrina Italia, the Contemporary Dramaturgy review for New Generation in Cascina (PI) and were included in Milan’s Teatro dell’Elfo drama programme. “And in this season so well disposed to the bard, (…), here sparks a tamed Shrew filtered by cabaret and recovered with surprise by the production of Palchettostage after a year of scholastic divulgation.”(Franco Quadri – La Repubblica).
Also, we started editing a biannual periodical, PALCHETTOSTAGE News. In this way, we were able to maintain direct contact with teachers and students through news and curiosities concerning show business, and through the promotion of a literary and a poetry competition in order to involve the students.
After Milan, also Rome applauded our Shakespearean staging, in fact we performed it at Teatro Valle from 29/02/00 to 05/03/00.
We then performed a second musical in English Cabaret by Joe Masteroff (based on the famous film by Bob Fosse with Liza Minelli) to students all over Italy.
In ths year, we inaugurated a meeting place, SPAZIOTEATRO, in our home town of Busto Arsizio that was used as a laboratory for: the research of new actors, the rehearsals of our productions and also constructive criticism by our audience through meetings and open stages.
In French, we adapted a difficult text by Victor Hugo: Les Misérables. Jean Valjean’s vicissitudes thrilled a greater and greater audience with an involved and suggestive staging.
The obtaining, after a long period of negotiation with Germany and United States, of the rights to stage Die Dreigroschenoper by Bertolt Brecht in Italian, with music by Kurt Weill, directed by Renzo Martinelli. This play is still up to date as its message makes students think about the difficult social and political context in which we live. It was a courageous choice that was warmly repaid by the warm and attentive presence of the audience.
The SPAZIO TEATRO was opened to the public and from this year, in addition to acting as workshop for our productions, was used to perform different theatrical plays and musicals for students and adults.
Another musical in English, based on the novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, gained large public favour. This was surely due to the catchy songs, the wonderful actors’ voices, the enthralling plot and the direction of Fraser Grant, one of PALCHETTOSTAGE’s most affectionate collaborators, who shares with the author the same native town, Edinburgh.
The year also saw the debut of La Mandragola by Niccolò Machiavelli in Italian: the director Lorenzo Loris kept the show close to the spirit of the original text where, behind the theme, the hoax comes out from the darkness with a staging appreciated by both students and teachers for its modern sobriety.
Following the acclaimed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the director Fraser Grant offered the staging of the always current didactic tale, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, with a gloomy and gothic style that used amazing special effects.
We then performed an extravagant version of The Taming of the Shrew by W. Shakespeare, adapted by Andrea Taddei, that appealed to the audience once again with its modern language and physical approach of versatile actors.
The Italian season! After great success among the young audience, The Taming of the Shrew joined the evening programme of Teatro Litta in Milan where it gained further success, while at the same time students all over Italy learnt the art of cunning and seduction with the performance of a rock version of Don Giovanni adapted by Andrea Taddei.
The great tragedy of Romeo and Juliet appeared for the first time in our repertoire where the history of two young lovers persecuted by their fate and their sad lives moved and made the audience reflect.
The success of our musical shows among young audience highly increased as a new staging of Twist & Shout! by the director Fraser Grant, celebrated the 20th anniversary of PALKETTOSTAGE, touring the whole of Italy, where it was received once again with a lot of enthusiasm. The same director produced another musical, A Midsummer Night’s… Dance, a reinterpretation from the 70s point of view of the famous Shakespearean comedy.
For the first time, we presented in French the charming story of Edmond Dantès revenge of Le Comte De Monte-Cristo, by the creative genius A. Dumas.
This year saw the début of some of the most famous and important English and French plays: The Picture Of Dorian Gray in English and Les Trois Mousquetaires in French. But not to be forgotten was the musical of the world-famous Pygmalion with music taken from My Fair Lady.
Also, Fraser Grant presented a successful play based on the story of the two crazy brothers of the American movies, the Blues Brothers, revisited in the funny The Brothers’ Story.
This year was characterised by the introduction of Spanish language, with the production El Perro del Hortelano by Lope de Vega and for the scheduling at SPAZIO TEATRO of all our productions in their original language promoted and organised by the Civic Administration of Busto Arsizio. In cooperation with four other local theatres the BA TEATRO CITY SEASON was realised: Look Back In Anger by J. Osborne, Hamlet In Concert from W. Shakespeare, Pygmalion by G. B. Shaw, The Crazy ‘50s! by M. Wootton, Le Malade Imaginaire by Molière and Notre-Dame de Paris by V. Hugo.
Wanting to combine the educational aspect with the ludic aspect, we chose classic stories, presenting them in a musical style: Fraser Grant directed Jekyll & Hyde the musical by R. L. Stevenson and The Canterville Ghost by O. Wilde entertained and excited. However, the big challenge of this season was the production of the musical Grease by J. Jacobs and W Casey for which we obtained the rights from MTI of New York to perform it. Our performances in Spanish continued with Don Quijote Y Dulcinea – sueño y realidad by M. de Cervantes.
A year rich with news with shows staged for the first time; in English: Lady Windermere’s Fan by O. Wilde, The Comedy Of Errors by W. Shakespeare and, following the great success of Grease in the previous season, the musical Fame, inspired to the popular TV series of the same name. In French: La Dame Aux Camelias by A. Dumas and Les Précieuses Ridicules by Molière. And in Spanish: Don Gil De Las Calzas Verdes.
Six new shows, including classic theatre and musicals, from the great classics to the myths of yesterday and today. The first play in English was the love story Pride And Prejudice by J. Austen in a fresh adaptation for theatre, then the musical The Beatles, where the 8 performers acted live both as singers and musicians; and finally Frankenstein by M. Shelley, staged in a gothic atmosphere. For the first time a musical in French: Les Misérables by V. Hugo and then a show about the adventures of Arsène Lupin, Voleur Gentilhomme. Spanish theatre was represented with Don Juan Tenorio, a milestone of the European literature, by J. Zorrilla.
This year five productions that addressed the theme of love. The classical theatre in English language was represented by The Importance Of Being Earnest by O. Wilde, whereas for the musical theatre we had two original titles from Broadway: Guys and Dolls Jr. and West Side Story. French theatre was represented by the play L’Avare by Molière, a single adaptation both for younger and older students, while Spanish theatre was represented with the comedy play Los Locos de Valencia by Lope de Vega .
Productions linked by different shades of “Power play” between the strongest and the weakest. The first show in English was a masterpiece from the absurd theatre: Waiting For Godot, by S. Beckett. Then the musical: Hamlet, a rock version, with choreographies and live songs, of the famous tragedy by W. Shakespeare, and Cinderella by Rodgers & Hammerstein, the most famous tale in the world; this version was the original one by G2K. In French, a new staging of Notre-Dame De Paris by V. Hugo, comédie musicale proposed both to the younger and the older students, while the comedy play La Zapatera Prodigiosa by F. García Lorca, a very loved and requested author, was the show that represented Spanish theatre.
“Between vices and virtues, the reverse of the medal” was the theme of this year’s programme, that opened with the classic theatre in English language The Picture Of Dorian Gray, a literary adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play. Then, the musical Grease by J. Jacobs and W. Casey, that, thanks to special authorisation by Mr. Ronald Taft it was performed as a special edition for schools of one single act. Another adventurous musical was performed for younger students: Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie. Again, we did a double scheduling in French, staging the classic Cyrano de Bergerac a literary adaptation from the pièce by E. Rostand for high school students, and the comédie musicale Le Tour du Monde en 80 Jours adapted from J. Verne’s work, addressed to younger students. And finally, Don Quijote de la Mancha, a literary adaptation from the masterpiece by M. de Cervantes, was the show presented in Spanish.
Referring to EXPO MILANO 2015, this year’s theme was “The theatre, food for the soul”, and was composed of six productions in original language and two shows in Italian linked to the EXPO in a special way: Che Bio ce la mandi buona! (by and with Diego Parassole) and Cucinar ramingo in capo al mondo (by and with Giancarlo Bloise). All our productions were part of the civic programme BA Teatro.
The classic theatre play in English An Ideal Husband was performed at SPAZIO TEATRO, directed by Irina Sabristova, under the supervision of the Palkettostage Artistic Director. A few reprises followed, but with completely new stagings: Fame Jr. The Musical and El Perro del Hortelano in a musical version, and Le Comte de Monte-Cristo . The final shows performed were the brand new Shrek Jr. The Musical and Le Petit Prince , also performed as a musical version.
PALKETTOSTAGE celebrated 30 years! …30 years of theatre, passion and hard work celebrated with an exceptional programme, entitled: “Between Heart and Mind”. We started with Pride and Prejudice , a classic story freely inspired by the novel of Jane Austen, that touched and excited high school students. Then, Flashdance The Msuical , great musical news of the season, for which the music was recorded specifically for our production. For younger students, The Wizard of Oz The Musical , a literary adaptation of the opera by L. Frank Baum. In French, La Belle et La Bête , the universal contents of the opera by M.me Leprince de Beaumont open to audiences of all ages, thanks also to a new staging enriched with a modern and captivating musical repertoire. In Spanish, students had the opportunity to see Don Juan Tenorio El Musical : in this particular staging, realised with philological rigour, the adventures of the character described by José Zorrilla y Moral alternates in counter-scenes of song and flamenco dance.
After passing the milestone of 30-years, we continue our programming in three languages with a theme entitled “Passions and Deceptions”. In English, there is the play Pygmailion by George Bernard Shaw; the irony and points of reflection provided by the author involving and stimulating high school students. Then, by popular demand, the musical Hamlet returns; inspired by the tragedy of William Shakespeare, that a few years ago enthused adolescents all over Italy, for a new, long tour. And for younger children there is the musical Alice in Wonderland ; a magical adaptation of the novel by Lewis Carroll. The French language is represented by the musical comedy Arsène Lupin … la recherche de la vérité ; Maurice Leblanc’s renowned character playing the role of an investigator to entertain the audience both in middle and high schools. Finally, in Spanish, we present an exceptional musical performance, Eva Perón; in which the life of the celebrated First Lady of Argentina is narrated at a “passo di tango”, entertaining and inspiring students of all ages.
“Between Legend and Reality” is the title of the new Poster, which shifts from prose to musical, great classics and unpublished productions. It starts with The Picture of Dorian Gray , a stage adaptation with a modern tone of the novel by Oscar Wilde, created to involve and satisfy the cultural needs of the students attending high school triennium. To follow we propose William Shakespeare again, this time with a romantic and funny comedy in the musical style which can take on multiple interpretations: A Midsummer Night’s Dream . The youngest audience will be able to become fond of the fight against injustice led by Robin Hood , the infallible archer who robs the rich to feed the poor. To all the students learning French we propose an exceptional author: Molière, who makes a fool of medical profession in the comedy L’Amour Médecin through his sharp satire. In the end, an intense and passionate musical version of Bodas de Sangre , taken from the drama of Federico García Lorca, is addressed to the classes of the secondary school and high school learning Spanish language.
in original editions
who are professional and mother tongue
adapted and rewritten for improvised scenic comprehension
with different levels of linguistic complexity
aimed to stimulate and maintain audience partecipation