La storia al tempo della politica. Le produzione teatrali di Tutto è vero (Enrico VIII) nel Novecento


  • Carmen Gallo



The paper explores the main features of Shakespeare and Fletcher’s All is True, or Henry VIII (1613) through its twentieth-century productions. The play was included in the famous 1623 Folio among the histories (Fletcher’s co-authorship had not been acknowledged yet and it is still debated today) by the editors who probably dismissed the original or alternative title, All is True, and adopted The Famous History of the Life of King Henry VIII so as to strengthen the contiguities between this late work, revolving around one of the most controversial figure of Tudor dynasty, and the previous histories. Nonetheless, the original title and its insistence on “truth” is constantly alluded throughout the play, whose main theme is the use of propaganda, rumors, slanders and defamation as means of political action. This is probably one of the reasons why in the 20th century a few directors chose this play to reflect on the dynamics of modern politics and on the rhetoric of politics in the age of information. Their productions may be split into two main scenic readings: a conservative one, faithful to the Shakespearean tradition established by the Victorians and focused on the ceremonialist and nationalist aspects of the play; and a more radical one, which underlines the hypocrisy of modern politics and the emptiness of its propagandistic practices. The paper reconstructs the pivotal moments of the two performative lines, and analyses the main features and the historical contexts of the productions from Gray’s direction of the play (1931) until Doran’s 1996 e 1998 productions, which significantly restored the title All is True.


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