Theatre on the doorstep

Another week, another village event. I’m writing this at 12.30am as the noise from the disco at the osteria is too loud to want to try to sleep through. It’ll stop before 2am so that’s not really a problem, and gives me time to write about last night’s event.

During the afternoon a crew arrived in a truck and unloaded metal frames and planks, which were then assembled into a stage right under our window. Nino – one of those who form the village committee – told me it was to be a “comedia” – a comic play – but performed entirely in dialect. If it had been Italian I might have tried to watch it from the piazza, but since I could understand hardly a word I stayed at home and popped out onto the balcony a few times to sample it.


I asked Nino who pays for these events. He said it was usually the village, but where it gets the funds is a mystery as many of us – myself included – pay no council tax. This time, however, it was all provided by the commune in Ventimiglia. The standard of the acting seemed to be quite high and the stage setup was very professional, so this was no ad-hoc affair.

The play lasted about an hour and a half and was pretty well received by the audience, who sat in an arc of chairs completely blocking the road. At one stage a car wanted to get through from Torri Superiore and a lively argument developed before the play was paused and an aisle made for the vehicle to drive through. Then the play restarted. I have some sympathy with the driver, given the usual almost complete lack of publicity for the event.


Once it finished the crew packed up the chairs and the set, then this morning the truck returned and the stage was dismantled and removed.

While chatting to Nino he revealed that another event is scheduled for this coming Friday; some kind of free banquet with candles if my Italian can be relied upon. Quite what that means I have no idea, but at least living right on top of things means we’re unlikely to miss it.

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