Shaping the Edges of a New Vision. The Verona Shakespeare Fringe Festival 2021


  • Petra Bjelica University of Verona



The article deals with the first edition of the Verona Shakespeare Fringe Festival. It gives an account about the founders, programme, and the main aim, describing how the festival uses Shakespeare as lingua franca to create a unique vision – a combination of research, theatre productions, new readings, and diverse theatrical, adaptation and dramaturgical practices. The guiding principles of the festival are multicultural approaches and multilingualism, transnational exchange, dialogue between and a showcase of emerging artistic projects, nurturing education in the direction to and from the audience. On 24 and 25 July, the festival hosted six productions performed at the Teatro Scientifico, along with a special interview with all the participants and the organizers held on 26 July. The festival opened with an overview of the history of Commedia dell’arte in Fabio Mangolini’s The Lazzo of the Fly and other Stories. It included Nina Sallinen’s Poor Poor Lear, Jaq Bessell’s Shakespeare for Breakfast, Elena Pellone’s The Rape of Lucrece, John Blondell’s So now I have confessed that he is thine… Erotic Trajectories, and closed with a choreography based on The Tempest called Dancing Shakespeare: Mirage performed by Les Dynamiques. All the performances delivered a fresh approach and set the foundation of adding Verona Shakespeare Fringe Festival to the map of relevant and exciting spaces for Shakespearean productions.

Keywords: Verona Shakespeare Fringe Festival; Shakespeare festivals; theatre; adaptations; performance