Troilo e Cressida 

Debut: Genoa, Sala Eleonora Duse, 19 November 1964 (RaiTeche movie)

Version for the scene Luigi Squarzina
Direction Luigi Squarzina
Assistant to the artistic direction Paolo Giuranna 
Set and costume  Gianni Polidori 
Music Gino Negri
Production Teatro Stabile di Genova 

Characters and performers

The Trojans

Priam, king of Troy Luigi Dameri 
Ettore, his firstborn and commander in chief Mario Erpichini
Helenus, son of Priam Sandro Rossi
Paride, son of Priam Gianfranco Ombuen
Troilus, son of Priam Luigi Vannucchi
Aeneas, officier Giancarlo Maestri
Calcante, scientist passed to the Greeks Enrico Ardizzone
Pandaro, uncle of Cressida Camillo Milli
Alexander, Pandaro's servant Gianni Fenzi 
Troilo's attendant Arnaldo Bagnasco
An officer of the Parisian suite Renato Romano
Margarelone, bastard son of Priam Carlo Quartucci
Andromache, wife of Ettore Margherita Guzzinati
Cassandra, daughter of Priamo Marzia Ubaldi 
Cressida, daughter of Calcante Paola Mannoni 

The Greeks

Agamemnon, commander in chief of the Greek alliance Gigi Pistilli
Menelaus, his brother, general Claudio Remondi 
Achilles, general Gastone Moschin
Ulysses, admiral Claudio Gora 
Ajax, general Eros Pagni
Nestore, high marshal Alfredo Marchetti 
Diomede Omero Antonutti 
Patroclus Giancarlo Zanetti 
Thersite, journalist Glauco Mauri
A Mirmidone officer Giuliano Disperati 
Elena, wife of Menelaus kidnapped by the Trojans rapita dai Troiani  Luisella Boni

With this reinterpretation of Shakespeare, which aims to reference “the experiences we all have lived, the dangers we all run,” Squarzina once again makes Shakespeare our contemporary. Here, he reaches the peak of accuracy and consistency, proposing a theatre of civil and social commitment, and “inviting audiences to leave behind their passivity and to seek, in the play, not only and not truly an evening’s pleasure, but help for understanding and living”.

The director offers a dual modernisation of Shakespeare’s text. A modernisation of the language thanks to a translation that, while remaining essentially faithful to the text, modernises it with neologisms and slang forms from the spoken language. Then, there is visual modernisation related to the World War: Greek heroes wear khaki uniforms like American generals, while Trojan ones are dressed in grey/green, toting guns and assault rifles. Further, Elena wears a white fox cape, Paris a suit and rapier, Priam a nightgown, and Cressida a bikini; Achilles flirts with Patroclus in a trailer, Troilus is an aviation pilot, Thersites is a journalist/paparazzo with cameras draped around his neck, and Calchas is a scientist who has gone over to the enemy. Thus is Shakespeare’s savage satire about the Trojan fully understood: as a war for an operetta.

The Rai news service

We thank Teatro Nazionale di Genova for the concession of the use of photographic material.