Fleabag producer stages a musical about Berlusconi’s life: “A satire with a fierce feminist lens”

After the two-part film by Paolo Sorrentino and the documentary “My Way” by Netflix, there is also a musical dedicated to Silvio Berlusconi. The theatrical show will stage the life of the former Knight, and the authors have declared that they want to make a raw and feminist portrait of her, described as an “Evita in acid” (with reference to the cult written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, freely inspired by the life of Evita Perón). Written by two former Grange Hill stars and featuring a song titled My Weekend With Vladimirthe opera will be staged in London next year.

the musical, as reported by the English newspaper The Guardianis titled simply Berlusconitells an «almost true story» and is produced by Frances Moodybest known for her success with Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The play portrays the three-time Italian prime minister on the eve of the verdict in his tax fraud trial, as he looks back on his rise and fall and decides to write an autobiographical work.

Her story is then told through the eyes of three women: Ilda Boccassinithe former Milanese magistrate known as “Ilda la Rossa” who investigated him, Berlusconi’s second wife, the actress Verónica Lariowho left him in 2009 after nearly 20 years of marriage, and the fictional character of a journalistbut it’s based on real people. The possible models abound considering the not always rosy relationship between Berlusconi and the press. «The musical – said Moody – is a work that puts him in a fiercely feminist light. These women tell their story.”

The show will explore the charisma of the Milanese billionairethe way he kept power to himself “with a smile and a wink” and the way he “set the rules” for a certain populist leadership style, Moody said, drawing some parallels with Boris Johnson And Donald Trump. The producer added that Berlusconi will be represented “as a real person, not as a cartoon figure”. But a true musical cannot fail to have music that is up to par: the authors promise a «pop soundtrack, Eurotrash-style rhythms and songs».

The book, music and lyrics are by Ricky Simmonds and Simon Vaughan, who have been writing musicals together for years. The two met as child actors on the set of Grange Hill: Simmonds played Ant Jones in the BBC television series, while Vaughan had the role of Freddie Mainwaring.

Berlusconi, 86 years old, is a figure that we Italians know very well, but his over the top and unconventional character has amazed, fascinated (and sometimes dismayed) even the foreign public. After his last experience as premier in 2011, retrospectives and works on the life of the Caiman have multiplied, among which the biopic certainly stands out Their directed by Paolo Sorrentino. It must also be said that perhaps the musical is the form of opera that could best represent the founder of the Mediaset networks, who in his youth worked as a crooner on cruise ships and in more recent years has written and performed songs together with the guitarist Mariano Apicella .

Indeed, Berlusconi’s life is a plot already written for the theatre, which encompasses a lot of comedy, a bit of epicness but also a pinch of tragedy, where the archetypes of the genre are all summed up in the biographical stages of the multifaceted politician and entrepreneur: the birth in Milan during the Second World War, the activity of entrepreneur who started from the bottom and became one of the richest men in the world, the adventure of television, the many loves (some ended badly, like the one with Veronica Lario, others unexpectedly, such as the penultimate partner Francesca Pascale who after the breakup married the singer Paola Turci), the extended family that manages ribs of the financial empire, the party founded in ’94, friendships that are not always recommendable (one on everyone: Vladimir Putin, but also the late general Muammar Gaddafi), the judicial events (such as the one for tax fraud which was resolved with the sentence to social services in 2015, but it is only a of a long list), bad jokes told in official contexts, comments about women (rarely appropriate) and so much more. In Freud’s words, a life beyond the pleasure principle, a path in which eros and thanatos coexist in equal measure, in short, true gold for the authors of the theatre.

The comedy musical will also have a serious and “hard-hitting” approach, Moody underlined. “Much of the way he has behaved is bewildering and ridiculous: it’s easy to satirize that.” The result, he said, is a political musical that offers “a good evening, but you leave the theater with an eerie feeling of how much fun you’ve had.”

Berlusconi, based on an idea by Alan Hayling and directed by James Grieve, will open this spring at the new Southwark Playhouse theater in Elephant and Castle, south London. The public will be able to hear musical numbers such as For Italy, Bunga Bunga, Thank Goodness for Silvio And My weekend with Vladimir. A soundtrack worthy of the best “elegant dinners” in the Arcore villa. The last one in particular celebrates the fact that Berlusconi and Vladimir, friends for many years, have reunited despite the latter carrying out the bloodiest offensive on the European continent since the Second World War. The show will debut in London on March 25th.

Fleabag producer stages a musical about Berlusconi’s life: “A satire with a fierce feminist lens”