|Franca Valeri in 'Non tutto è risolto' - Photo © Teatro Valle|
As the curtains opened at the closing performance of Non tutto è risolto for the Sunday afternoon show on 23 January, the very sight of the diminutive Franca Valeri alone on stage was enough to elicit long and warm applause from the audience of devoted admirers. As the play evolved, however, it became quickly apparent that this was not merely an afternoon for nostalgia lovers – this brand new work (written by Valeri and directed by Giuseppe Marini) was an exquisite piece of theatre, full of beautifully measured dialogue and surreal flights of imagination, exploring timeless themes – ageing and muddled memories; secrets and lies, or rather, the stories we invent to keep on living life itself. By turns bitingly humorous and deeply moving, it was a privilege to watch Franca Valeri's mesmerising performance as the “Contessa” Matilde. The excellent supporting cast of Licia Maglietta as her long suffering personal secretary, Urbano Barberini as her estranged son and Gabriella Franchini as her newly enlisted housemaid, were loudly applauded as the final curtain fell, although needless to say the cheers and standing ovation were reserved for the play's remarkable central character and creator Franca Valeri.
The Franca Valeri season continues at Teatro Valle with the monologue La Vedova Socrate until 28 January; Avrei voluto essere un mezzosoprano, a musical evening taking an affectionate look at lyric opera, another of her life's passions follows on 29 January; and an encounter with the actress on 30 January entitled Io e il cinema, una ben strana coppia followed by the film Parigi o cara directed by Vittorio Caprioli.