A brand new stage adaptation of Federico Fellini’s 1957 Oscar-winning film, La Strada, is at West Yorkshire Playhouse until Saturday 29th April and it is wonderful! It is touching, quirky, ethereal, sad, clever, funny, and Gelsomina’s voice at the end had me in tears!
Directed by Olivier Award nominee Sally Cookson, with music by Benji Bower, this is the soul-searching story of Gelsomina who is sold by her impoverished mother to strongman Zampano, a travelling sideshow performer. Their journey through the Italian countryside leads them to a ragtag touring circus where they meet Il Matto, the free-spirited tightrope walker, who tries to rekindle Gelsomina’s broken spirit.
“Fellini’s iconic film has always fascinated me and the thought of using it as a starting point to make a piece of theatre was one I couldn’t resist”, said Sally. “A folktale-like odyssey – this story sees three lost souls travelling ‘the road’ and searching in different ways to find meaning in their lives. Using physical storytelling, music and movement, we will be attempting to find a theatricality to re-imagine this story of human suffering, longing and redemption.”
Featuring live music and original songs, La Strada brings together a multi-skilled cast of performers and musicians. Audrey Brisson plays Gelsomina and Stuart Goodwin Zampano. Bart Soroczynski is Il Matto and the ensemble includes: Matt Costain, Fabrizio Matteini, Sofie Lybäck, Niv Petel, Niccolo Curradi, Tatiana Santini, Teowa Vuong, Tim Dalling, Niccolo Curradi, Luke Potter and Tee Jay Holmes.
Director Sally Cookson is an associate artist of Bristol Old Vic. Together with longtime creative collaborator, composer and musical director Benji Bower, their many productions include: Jane Eyre (Bristol Old Vic and National Theatre), the Olivier Award nominated Hetty Feather (West End, National Tour & Florida USA), Peter Pan (National Theatre), Treasure Island (Bristol Old Vic), and the Olivier Award nominated Cinderella: A Fairytale (Tobacco Factory Theatre), Varmints (Sadler’s Wells).
Photos: Robert Day