A new English version by Tanya Ronder
By Eduardo de Filippo
Directed By Michael Attenborough
In the balmy heat of late ’40s Naples, Filumena Marturano lies on her deathbed waiting to marry Domenico Soriano, the man who has kept her as his mistress for twenty-five 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.
Eduardo De Filippo’s joyous story is brought to life in a production that embodies the very scent of its Neapolitan setting.
Olivier Award-winning actress Samantha Spiro leads the cast as Filumena. Her theatre credits include Chicken Soup with Barley (Royal Court) Twelfth Night (Donmar West End) and Much Ado About Nothing (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); on television she recently appeared in Simon Amstell’s BBC2 comedy Grandma’s House.
Eduardo De Filippo is one of Italy’s most prolific and respected playwrights of the 20th Century, so highly regarded in his native land that shortly before his death in the 1980s he was made a life senator of the Italian Republic. Writer Tanya Ronder’s last adaptation for the Almeida was 2005’s production of Blood Wedding, more recently she created an acclaimed stage play of
DBC Pierre’s Vernon God Little.
Previews Thu 15 - Wed 21 March
Press Night Thu 22 March (7pm)
Evening performances 7.30pm
Saturday matinees 2.30pm from 24 March
Wednesday matinees 2.30pm on 18 April & 2 May
Running time is approximately 2 hours including one interval of 15 minutes.
Happy Mondays 19 March
Talkback Mon 30 April (post performance)
Captioned Wed 18 April, 7.30pm
Audio-described Sat 28 April, 2.30pm (Touch Tour at 1pm)
Theatre includes: The Tempest; The Way of the World; Dracula; Arsenic And Old Lace (Chichester); The Faery Queen (Aix-en-Provence); The Invisible Man (Theatre Royal Stratford East); The Churchill Play; The Alchemist (National Theatre); Once In A Lifetime (Piccadilly Theatre); Piaf (Wyndhams); Toad of Toad Hall (Birmingham Rep); The Real Inspector Hound (Warehouse Productions).
For the RSC: As You Like It; King Lear; The Taming of the Shrew; Julius Caesar; The Merchant of Venice; The Changeling; Softcops; Coriolanus; Happy End; The Odyssey; Much Ado About Nothing (RSC USA / European tour); Richard III (RSC Australian tour); Travesties (RSC / Savoy Theatre); The Winter’s Tale; The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe; King John; The Malcontent; Eastwood Ho! (RSC / Gielgud); Sejanus: His Fall.
Television includes: Cyrano de Bergerac; Poirot; Peak Practice; The Bill; EastEnders; Trial & Retribution VII; Foyle’s War; The Commander; Midsomer Murders; The Government Inspector; Doctors.
Film includes: A Bridge Too Far.
Radio includes: The Archers.
"For a good dose of Neapolitan charm and warmth, you have to head to the Almeida Theatre this spring to see this wonderfully produced revival ... The two lead roles are superbly executed by Samantha Spiro (Filumena) and Clive Wood (Domenico). The chemistry between them is compelling and, while they bring an abundance of comic flair into their roles, they also show the depth and the pain during the mellower moments on stage."
Passion For Theatre
"This new, fresh, slangy version by Tanya Ronder is such a delight ... Samantha Spiro is a treasure as Filumena ... Yet for all the final warmth, Filumena’s bald account of the wartime slum poverty that led her to the brothel is darkly credible: the melting of her survivor’s toughness convinces as a painful release."
"At the heart of Filumena is Samantha Spiro, a warm and magnetic actor giving a performance of great charm as an illiterate Neapolitan woman with a complicated past … Clive Wood captures the hulking insensitivity of Domenico, while Sheila Reid makes a keen impression as the loyal maid Rosalia."
"This actress [Samantha Spiro] may be physically small but she fills the stage with an enormous and exciting presence ... Clive Wood is splendid as Domenico ... There is really only one word to describe this production – charming."
"Samantha Spiro crackles with electricity"
Writer Eduardo De Filippo
Adaptor Tanya Ronder
Director Michael Attenborough
Design Robert Jones
Lighting Tim Mitchell
Sound John Leonard
Fight Director Terry King
Movement Imogen Knight
Casting Julia Horan
Literal Translator / Assistant Director Jane Fallowfield
Italian Consultant Manuela Ruggiero