Filumena Marturano

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Filumena Marturano (sometimes staged as Filumena) [1] is a 1946 play by Italian playwright and philosopher Eduardo de Filippo (1900–1984).

It is his best-known work and arguably his finest comedy-drama, drenched in Neapolitan atmosphere and full of entanglements at once cynical and romantic. In the heat of late-1940s Naples, Filumena Maraturano lies on her deathbed awaiting her marriage to Domenico Soriano, the man who has kept her as his mistress for twenty-seven years. But no sooner has the priest completed the ceremony than Filumena makes a miraculous recovery. As he reels in shock, Domenico discovers that this brilliant, iron-willed woman has a few more surprises for him. [2]

The original text

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English by Keith Waterhouse [3] and Willis Hall [4] in 1977.

Translated from English into Afrikaans by Herman Pretorius as Filumena (or alternatively 'n Moeder bly 'n Moeder!) in 1982.

The play formed the basis for the filmed version entitled Marriage Italian Style with Marcello Mastroanni and Sophia Loren.

Performance history in South Africa

1981: The Waterhouse/Hall English translation was staged by PACT in the State Theatre in October, directed by Francois Swart, with Wilna Snyman (Filumena), Gordon Mulholland (Domenico), Michael McCabe (Alfredo), Anna Cloete (Rosalia), Louise Saint-Claire (Diana), Charlotte Butler (Lucia), Laurence Lurie (Umberto), Bobby Heaney (Riccardo), Fred Abrahamse (Michele), Nigel Vermaas (Nocella), Christine Basson (Teresina), Ronny Belcher (Priest) Kritch Krook (Waiter) and Klasi Coetzee (Waiter). Designed by Chris van den Berg.

1982: The Pretorius Afrikaans translation was staged by the Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch in the H.B. Thom Theatre in September, directed by Ria Olivier, with Maria van der Linde (Filumena), Elzette Pretorius (Rosalia), Herman Pretorius (Domenico), Neels Engelbrecht (Alfredo), Ilzabeth Uys (Diana), Tossie van den Heever (Lucia), Johan Rademan (Umberto), Albert Maritz (Riccardo), Anton Smith (Michele), Noël Roos (Nocella), Karen Usmar-Blake (Teresina), Johann van Heerden (Hoofkelner) and Freddie Aylward (Kelner).


PACT theatre programme, October 1981.

UTS theatre programme, September 1982.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Martin 2008.

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