“Ravenna boasts such unique and unrepeatable events and situations,
that every inhabitant of this world would die of wonder”.
(Dario Fo, La vera storia di Ravenna, 1999)
Between 1998 and 1999, on the wave of a successful collaboration between DARIO FO and the Academy of Fine Arts, in which the artist worked together with the students of Ravenna to create brightly coloured sea tents, in the old-fashioned way, love struck once again; even the Nobel Prize winner succumbed to the charm of Ravenna.
What attracted the great exponent of Italian theatre was, once again, the quantity of raw material (a wealth of stories, characters and legends) that constitutes Ravenna’s fame.
Thus, he voraciously and histrionically flung himself into the task of – as he puts it himself – “rewriting its history”, the less official one: a cross-section of local treasures and the industrial soul of the city, from chemistry to the seaport; an adventurous and passionate story from the Etruscan origins of the city at the beginning of the Middle Ages, through centuries interwoven with military triumphs, unpredictable betrayals, lust, cruelty, legends and myths.
This is how Fo explains his reworked version:
“I’ve wrung those stories dry, beaten them well in lye solution and I’m going to lay them in front of you again, in a bid to amuse the reader and maybe even shock him into healthy indignation, right from the title itself. In this world of collective slumber, a sudden jerk and a shudder every now and then won’t hurt us!”