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Sun 08 Oct 2016, Scottish Storytelling Center, Edinburgh
Francis the Holy Jester, monologue performed by Mario Pirovano.

Sun 09 Oct 2016, the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
A Conversation with Dario Fo
To mark his 90th birthday, Italy’s best known and most provocative satirical playwright and artist visits The Lyceum for a live conversation event.
The festival includes a series of political theatre performances and events, including an appearance by Mario Pirovano, Fo’s close friend, who appeared in Fo’s 2009 play, Francis the Holy Jester.

World Theater Day Message 2016 (by the Russian stage director Anatoli Vassiliev)

Do we need theatre?

That is the question thousands of professionals disappointed in theatre and millions of people who are tired of it are asking themselves.

What do we need it for?

In those years when the scene is so insignificant in comparison with the city squares and state lands, where the authentic tragedies of real life are being played.

What is it to us?

Gold-plated galleries and balconies in the theatre halls, velvet armchairs, dirty stage wings, well-polished actors’ voices, – or vice versa, something that might look apparently different: black boxes, stained with mud and blood, with a bunch of rabid naked bodies inside.

What is it able to tell us?


Theatre can tell us everything.

How the gods dwell in heaven, and how prisoners languish in forgotten caves underground, and how passion can elevate us, and how love can ruin, and how no-one needs a good person in this world, and how deception reigns, and how people live in apartments, while children wither in refugee camps, and how they all have to return back to the desert, and how day after day we are forced to part with our beloveds, – theatre can tell everything.

The theatre has always been and it will remain forever.

We need every kind of theatre.

There is only one theatre which is surely not needed by anyone – I mean a theatre of political games, a theatre of a political “mousetraps”, a theatre of politicians, a futile theatre of politics. What we certainly do not need is a theatre of daily terror – whether individual or collective, what we do not need is the theatre of corpses and blood on the streets and squares, in the capitals or in the provinces, a phony theatre of clashes between religions or ethnic groups…

Anatoly Vassiliev

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