WordPlay: Napoli Milionaria Sept.17th,’15

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Geraint wyn davies’ wordplays are always a great. He gathers friends and family and they all read a play nobody’s ever heard of, having fun and mocking each other along the way. Laughter is guaranteed.

This time was no exception.  The obscure play was written in 1945 by Eduardo de Filippo with the author and his sister in the main parts. Life is hard in Naples during World War II but Donna Amalia does her best to keep the family afloat by dealing on the black market. Amalia prospers while Gennaro, her law-abiding husband, goes missing and is presumed dead. He returns unexpectedly to find his wife unfaithful, his son a car thief, his daughter pregnant and his other daughter critically ill. Shocked by the effects of corruption on his family, Gennaro prepares to resume his role as head of the household. 

Written in the tradition of Don Camillo and Peppone the characters are, even though less than legal, going about their black market businesses with charm and verve, making the best of a situation that had been forced onto them. In the end the father, home from a German prison camp, is as much a fossil as he is a saviour. His son doesn’t go on that last trip to steal a car and thus doesn’t get arrested, his daughter stays home and doesn’t find another GI to p”entertain, his third child gets the medication to fight a fever. And his wife keeps on doing business against his will…

This time the cast was just as much a surprise as the play itself. Jonathan Goad, this year’s Hamlet, stopped by to read mother Amalia’s snake oil charming love interest, Geraint was Gennaro and hilariously hamming it up, Wayne Best, Blocher in the Physicists, did another police officer and was brilliant. There were hysterical moments when one or the other forgot that they were on or when one of the thieves was miming, causing the others to fall into fits of giggles.

My only complaint is that thanks to the shitty new calendar I almost missed out on this late addition to the line up. Glad I didn’t. Brilliant evening.

Btw: did I already mention that Jonathan Goad is really cute when he’s walking with his little daughter? 😉


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