Shelley. A Diet for Peace
PERFORMANCE, POETRY READING & DISCUSSION
10.30 am February 6 / 7
Teatro Puntozero Beccaria - Milan
Performed by Conrad Williamson
Directed by Denise Stephenson
Written by Maggie Rose
Thanks to Prof. Lilla Crisafulli for her specialist advice.
English Theatre Milan invites secondary school teachers and their students to the performance of the play, Shelley. A Diet for Peace. The show will be followed by a short bi-lingual reading in English and Italian of some of Shelley’s poems by actors and
students. Teachers will receive two short poems and instructions that they can work on with their students before their visit. After the show, there will be a discussion with the author and actors about the play.
AUTHOR MAGGIE ROSE TALKS ABOUT THE PLAY
«I wrote the play Shelley. A Diet for Peace as I began thinking which of our writers can help us in this period of deep crisis. A period marked by war, pandemic, poverty, and environmental disasters. The radical poet and thinker Percy Bysshe Shelley sprang immediately to mind.»
«Shelley’s life was very short – he died just before his thirtieth birthday – but he had already left us some of the finest poems in the English language and his thinking and foresight were remarkable.»
«In the early 19th century Shelley realized that everything on our planet – humans, animals, plants, etc. – is connected; what we eat and how we behave impact on our own life, but also on that of others and on the environment. So as early as his university years, he decided to become a vegetarian. What’s more his anti-establishment views on war, love, politics, and the environment make Shelley very much ‘Our Contemporary’ as the Polish critic Jan Kott said of Shakespeare. In the play, set in 2023 in San Terenzo, in Liguria, where Shelley lived during the final months of his life, I have imagined that a young Italian rapper and poet dreams he meets Shelley, who is keen to share his ideas,
referencing his letters, prose and superb poetry.»
CONRAD WILLIAMSON is originally from Edinburgh, where he grew up in an Italian speaking household; he trained at ALRA (The Academy of Live & Recorded Arts) in London, where he lives and works. While at ALRA he appeared in The Man Will Kill Us All (2018 – written directed by Luke Barnes) and as the title role in Doctor Scroggy’s War (2018 – directed by Sean Turner). He also represented ALRA in the 2018 Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe. His theatre work includes Home is Where the Heart is (2019 – Birds of Paradise / Creative Electric Scottish Tour), Frankenstein (2020 – TNT European Tour), 100 Paintings (2021 – MakeSpace Productions) and an R&D of Dana Rufolo’s narrative poem Joyn (2021 – Dessau) as well as voice-over work for BBC Teach’s animated adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Man, Having Fallen (2021 – Hear First Productions). He has also appeared in Little Grim’s Hoodie music video (2017 – Do Not Entry / BFI Future Film Festival) and English Theatre Milan’s Shakespeare’s Conflict Zones (2021 – Live Zoom Performance).
DENISE STEPHENSON is an actor, writer, and director. She has worked across Theatre, Film and TV, most recently in Simon Pegg’s SciFi comedy Truth Seekers for Amazon Prime, Mary Stuart in the West End and her solo clown show Finding Melania which she performed
at this year’s Edinburgh Festival. Her film work includes Swimming With Men, About a Boy, Kids in Love, Time After Time, St. Trinians, An Ideal Husband, Jean Charles, The Dead Can’t Lie, Spiceworld, What Rats Won’t Do, Girl in The Glass, Fergie Time, The Sermon, America 2.0, The Final Truth, The Heiress. She taught acting and directed shows at ALRA for several years and has directed at Theatre 503, Arcloa Theatre Global Women’s Festival, Kings Cross Slam and the Edinburgh Festival.
MAGGIE ROSE teaches the M.A. theatre studies programme at Milan University. A playwright, dramaturg, and translator, for twenty-five years she has worked, building cultural bridges between Scotland and Italy. She co-curated, together with Edinburgh’s Italian Institute of Culture, the symposium-festivals; “Italian Scottish Identities and Connections” and “Scambiare”. She was part of the creative team for I Confess (The Arches and Milan Theatre Festival), Death and the City (Tron), Shattered Head (Oran Mor and Traverse), Mobile Thriller, Herald Angel Award (Traverse), Stations (National Theatre of Scotland and British Council, Italy), Europa, Our First Migrant (Creative Scotland). With James and Liz Willetts and Donatella Massimilla, CETEC, she developed the Green Shakespeare Project, rewriting various Shakespeare plays (Caliban’s Castle, A Walk in Shakespeare’s Garden, Ophelia Herb Woman and New Caliban) and scripting the documentary, Arlecchino, Shakespeare and Green Passion, director James Willetts, which was presented at Milan’s Piccolo Teatro in 2021. A New Caliban, a film for young people, directed by John Quinn, is in development in Glasgow. Play Your Part, Climate Change Theatre, curated by M.Rose and scientific consultant, Stefano Bocchi, a cycle of seven play drawing on The Tempest, is a multidisciplinary project; supported by Milan University. During the centenary celebrations of Scots-Italian sculptor, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005), she will present the play, Walking Through Stones, by Carlo Jacucci, M. Rose and Wilma Stark, at Scotland’s National Gallery.
- English Theatre Milan are very grateful to Beppe Scutellà and Lisa Mazoni, directors of Puntozero, for choosing to host this show.
- Puntozero is an association founded in 1995 by director and actor Giuseppe Scutellà and the actress Lisa Mazoni. The work of Puntozero involves young inmates in theatre activities inside the prison, as well as former inmates and young people on probation. The team aims to have a positive impact on the personal, social, and professional growth of these young people and to encourage their reintegration into society. The Teatro Puntozero is the first European theatre in a juvenile detention institution that is open to the general public.