A Scottish-Italian Alliance
Directors and adapters: Maggie Rose, Sal Cabras
Starring Morna Burdon, Mrs BOUNCER, Paul Gruber, Mr COX, Paul Murray, Mr BOX
BOX AND COX, the celebrated 19th century farce by Maddison Morton, puts centre stage the efforts of scheming landlady, Mrs Bouncer, to double her money by renting the same room to two tenants; Mr Cox, a hatter, works by day, Mr Box, a printer, works at night. In this slickly paced comedy, the characters are engaged in a sparring match, where surprise follows surprise. Absurdly, the room, an improbable fiancée, a rasher of bacon and a half-used candles are all worth a skuffle. But in the end: whose room is it? Who’s conning who? Hilariously unmissable! A Scottish-Italian alliance.
“Exhilarating!”: expect an hour of sheer entertainment and surprise in the company of one of the finest farces of all times.
Maddison Morton’s Box and Cox has packed theatres since its London debut in 1847. Meet scheming landlady Mrs Bouncer, who to double her money rents the same room to two tenants; Mr Cox, a hatter, works by day and Mr Box, a printer, works by night. Still when the two meet all hell breaks loose. Absurdly, the room, an improbable fiancée, a red herring and a half used candle are all worth a skuffle.
Farce famously belongs to the stage, with its surprising exits and entrances, its larger than life characters, its slapstick comedy, sometimes including astonishing physical feats. Instead directors Sal Cabras and Maggie Rose have set themselves the challenge of producing Box and Cox on Zoom, where the play’s brilliantly witty language comes to the fore, and the use of close-up and asides makes audience members feel they are in the same space as the actors, living their dilemmas. Prior to the performance, there will be a foyer, where participants can meet the directors. At the end of the show, a Q &A will, we hope, result in a lively discussion
English Theatre Milan was founded in 2019 to bring top quality theatre in English to Milan as well as producing new plays in situ. For more than two decades Maggie Rose has been successfully creating Italian Scottish Connections, working with major Scottish institutions and theatre (her translation-coadaptation of Mobile Thriller won a Herald Angel’s award, while I Confess received five star reviews). The present joint venture between a Scottish cast, including Morna Burdon-Mrs Bouncer, Paul Gruber-Mr Cox, and Paul Murray-Mr Box, and English Theatre Milan is proving challenging, given the hurdles created by Brexit. Hopefully, though, Box and Cox will tour in Scotland and Italy.
Morna Burdon is based in Edinburgh and has worked for over 30 years as director, performer, writer & creative leader on a range of national and international theatre projects. She previously collaborated with Maggie Rose, performing in the Scottish/Italian production “Scars of War” and played Titania in Jonathan Kay’s physical theatre production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Glastonbury. Recent work includes two critically acclaimed one woman shows leading to Scottish tours, performing at Prague Fringe and invites to New York and New Zealand. She also created and performs in “After Judy Chicago”, an immersive piece which invites the audience to come in costume and blends, music, audience, performance, visual art and cuisine into a celebration of the iconic feminist artwork “The Dinner Party”. Morna has recently written a piece for radio and was invited to perform a selection of her poems and writing as part of Edinburgh Performing Arts Development programme. She has appeared in several award winning films including “Dead” (BBC TV Award and Edinburgh International Film Festival) and Crime of Uglyfication (Engage Award).
Paul Gruber studied drama at the University of Leeds, then at Edinburgh University he performed in numerous plays, including The Tempest, and Grimm, the Telling of the Tales. He also performed in Krapp's Last Tape, by Samuel Beckett. He was founder member of The Mandela Theatre Company, and toured extensively throughout Scotland as part of Theatre Workshop Edinburgh's T.I.E programme. Since moving to Glasgow he has performed in numerous plays with Strathclyde Theatre Group, including The Real Inspector Hound, by Tom Stoppard, and Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay, by Dario Fo.
Paul Murray lives in Edinburgh. He trained at Edinburgh College 1988/89. Since leaving college he has worked with various Scottish theatre companies, including The Lyceum, Traverse, Fifth Estate, Baldy Bane, Catch theatre, Frantic Rehead& Theatre Alba. Productions include: Trelawny of the Wells, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Archives of Countess D, Kepler, Counsel of Butterfiles, Macbeth, The Burning, St Joan & The Shepherd beguiled.
Director and adapter: Maggie Rose
Maggie taught British Theatre Studies and Performance at Milan University until 2019, where she still teaches the M.A. programme. A playwright, dramaturg and workshop leader, she is a member of the Scottish Society of Playwrights and Scotland’s Playwrights studio. Her stage plays, adaptations and translations, some of them co-written, exploring issues of multiculturalism and migration, have been presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Traverse and Gateway Theatres (Edinburgh), Oran Mor, Arches and Tron theatre (Glasgow), Soho Theatre (London) and the Piccolo Theatre (Milan). The site-specific plays, Caliban’s Castle, Shakespeare, Secret Agent, Harlequin and Shakespeare, Ltd, A Walk in Shakespeare’s Garden and Ophelia, Herb Woman (the last two shows, directed by Donatella Massimilla, were supported by the Polo Museale della Lombardia and were part of European Heritage Days) have been performed in botanical gardens, parks and villas, including Shakespeare’s Great Garden in Stratford-upon-Avon. They reflect her current interest in food, the natural world and sustainability in Shakespeare. The documentary, Shakespeare, Arlecchino and Green Passion, for which she wrote the screenplay, came out in 2021. She is currently researching, Herb or Wise Women in the Renaissance and the New Millennium, a collection of essays, Cambridge Scholars.
Director and adapter: Sal Cabras
Sal started off his career in marketing and journalism. For the last fifteen years he has worked as a writer and a translator. His plays include the trilogy Inferni Maggiori: Dante, Bonconte, Hilde. In 2013 Europa, Our First Migrant, the winner of a Creative Scotland award, played at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and toured to about fifteen Scottish islands. In 2018 Hilde was performed at Milan’s Società Umanitaria and was later made into a film by Claudio Papalia. Other plays: Alice Underwater, Quattro Pezzi Veloci (‘Cashcowboy,’ ‘Festa del Perdono,’ ‘Q&A,’ ‘Scrivania’). In 2016 he adapted for the stage J. C. Oates’ Lovely, Dark, Deep, a short biography of the American poet Robert Frost. His translations include plays by Alan Bennett, Edward Bond, Caryl Churchill, Hanif Kureishi, many of which have had productions in major theatres and festivals throughout in Italy.