A «Miles»… female! Plautus' comedy debuts on the 13th at the Greek Theater in Syracuse


By John

«It's a world where the moment of battle may never come. Indeed, wars appear to be a fantastic hypothesis.” The one that forms the backdrop to the world seems to resemble a long-awaited world today «Miles gloriosus» by Plautus, the comedy that will debut on the 13th and will remain on stage until June 29th at the Greek theater of Syracuse. The director Leo Muscato, who returns to Syracuse after last year's success with «Prometheus Chained», specifies that we find ourselves in a comedy of «misunderstandings and deceptions» and «the soldiers look like boy scouts playing war. It's a story set in a military world, and a war hovers in the air but we never see it. This is why we have reinvented a contemporary world in which it is possible to make anything credible.”

A comedy, in translation by Caterina Mordeglia, which is staged for the first time at the Greek Theater of Syracuse as recalled by the managing director Marina Valensise. Muscato chose Paola Minaccioni, a popular face of cinema and TV, as the protagonist and surrounded himself with an all-female cast. «We're having a blast and we also want to entertain. But we also want to offer a reflection. I was touched by the idea that the cast was all female: I surrounded myself with an excellent cast with a chorus of 40 women. I thought I knew this text but instead it began to speak to me in a new way: a lot is said about women. And the idea was born that there are only women on stage.”

Miles gloriosus is a show set in a military camp that is undisciplined beyond measure, colorful and decidedly noisy. Commanding this “sui generis” camp is Pyrgopolinices, the boastful soldier who from Plautus onwards has inspired dozens of other characters throughout history. «We won't just make people laugh – explains Muscato –. Miles also has no scruples about deciding on the life and death of soldiers. In the end there are two jokes: perhaps when faced with excessive stress we are all capable of carrying out terrible actions. And in the end we have the feeling of empathizing with this soldier: the bully is bullied. And the ending will move you”, explains Muscato, presenting the third production this year by the Inda Foundation which is preparing to beat its records: “We have already sold 140 thousand tickets since the shows began (a number destined to increase ed.). It had never happened in the history of the Foundation” said the president of the Inda Foundation, the mayor Francesco Italia. Last year there was a record ticket sale with 170 thousand tickets in total (including the two performances in September in which the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella participated).

«I am honored to be here – said Paola Minaccioni –, I believe it is a dream for all actors to be consecrated in this place and doing so with the direction of Leo Muscato is truly a gift and a gift. I find myself interpreting this autocratic male power and therefore being able to make fun of all the forms of power that are unfortunately prevailing at the moment. As a child you dream of playing the princess but in the end it's banal: better to play a contradictory, weak, fragile, bad, involuntarily cruel man. Excited to be back working with my body and voice.”

Also on stage are Giulia Fiume, Alice Spisa, Pilar Perez Aspa, Francesca Mària, Gloria Carovana, Arianna Primavera, Ilaria Ballantini, Deniz Ozdogan, Anna Charlotte Barbera, Valentina Spaletta Tavella, Elena Polic Greco, Ginevra Di Marco, Sara Dho, Alessandra Fazzino, Valentina Ferrante, Diamara Ferrero, Valeria Girelli, Margherita Mannino, Stella Piccioni, Giulia Rupi, Rebecca Sisti, Silvia Valenti, Irene Villa, Sara Zoia. Completing the cast are the students of the Academy of Art of Ancient Drama. «Miles gloriosus» will alternate until June 29th with Phaedra (Hippolitus bearer of the crown) by Euripides, the show directed by Paul Curran in the translation by Nicola Crocetti.