Madre Courage e i suoi figli 

Debut: Genoa, Politeama Genovese, 17 March 1970 (RaiTeche movie)

Translation Enrico Filippini
Direction Luigi Squarzina
Assistant director  Vittorio Melloni
Assistenti alla regia  Guido Huonder
Doriano Saracino
Set and costume  Gianfranco Padovani
Music Paul Dessau
Played by Roberto Gianolio
Salvatore Ferro
Carlo Pecori
Renato Bastoni
Franco Piccolo Luigi Ravera
Paolo Bartolini
Director of musical execution Doriano Saracino
Production Teatro Stabile di Genova

Characters and performers

Madre Courage Lina Volonghi 
Kattrin, his daughter, silent Lucilla Morlacchi
Eilif, the eldest son Omero Antonutti 
Schweizerkas, the younger son Giancarlo Zanetti 
The recruiter Maggiorino Porta 
The sergeant Antonello Pischedda 
The cook Eros Pagni 
The commander Gianni Galavotti 
The chaplain Camillo Milli 
The armory officer Mario Marchi 
Yvette Potier Grazia Maria Spina
The man with the blindfold Claudio Sora 
Another sergeant Mario Martini 
The old colonel Daniele Chiapparino 
A scribe Luigi Carubbi 
The young soldier Gianpiero Bianchi 
A farmer / soldier Maurizio Manetti 
The farmer's wife Gilda Vivenzio
Another farmer Enrico Ardizzone 
The peasant Mara Baronti 
A young farmer Sebastiano Tringali 
The bishop Gianni Fenzi 
Soldiers Mario Faralli
Renzo Martini
Andrea Montuschi
Salvatore Aricò
Nino Faillaci

Squarzina was able to stage Mother Courage only after the end of Teatro Piccolo’s monopoly on Brecht’s works and upon approval from the dramatist’s wife, Helen Weigel, and his publisher Suhrkamp Verlag.

Its point of reference was the famous Berlin edition of 1949, and it expressed on stage the epic and Brechtian estrangement from acting focused on the character’s contradictions, with a set design based on a revolving platform, noisy and visible just like the scaffolding onto which the projectors were fastened, highlighting the theatrical façade.

But since Squarzina was not a “very conforming Brechtian” and found natural affinities between the “critical” module of performance at Genoa’s Teatro Stabile and the “epic” ideal of the actor, he introduced a sort of contaminatio, so as to show the “components of the world of thoughts and facts that Mother Courage is – perhaps to the detriment, here and there, of an epic homogeneity (in a Brechtian sense) that is too orthodox (hence non-Brechtian).” Ultimately, it was an epic theatre exposed to the elaboration of critical theatre. Madre Courage, magari a scapito, qua e là, di una omogeneità epica (in senso brechtiano) troppo ortodossa (dunque non-brechtiana)”. In definitiva un teatro epico sottoposto all’elaborazione del teatro critico.

The critics recognised the play’s extraordinary importance, while audiences welcomed it with monumental enthusiasm throughout its long tour.

The press service - RaiTeche

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