“Mario Pirovano is a self-taught actor of great expressive quality. For years he came to listen to my performances and followed the lessons and demonstrations I gave to young actors. Eventually he had pumped me of all the tricks and “know-how” of the trade to the extent that he was capable of performing alone with great success. Personally I saw his performance at the University of Florence, faculty of Arts. I found him exceptional. Above all he didn’t take me off, he didn’t mimic me. He showed a vitality that was all his own, and the energetic inventiveness of a great story-teller.”
Dario Fo (Florence, June 1991)
Mario Pirovano (Milan, 20 April 1950) is an Italian theatrical actor, storyteller, translator and interpreter of Dario Fo’s monologues. His performances contribue to spread the Fo’s art in the world.
Mario Pirovano grew up in Pregnana Milanese, a small village just out of Milan. At the age of 12 he worked in a local shop, at the age of 24 he moved to England, where for about 10 years he does all sort of jobs. In 1983 he sees Dario Fo and Franca Rame performing Mistero Buffo at the Riverside Studios in London, and totally identifies in the works of Dario Fo.
Since 1983 Mario Pirovano has taken part in all the works produced by Dario Fo and Franca Rame as an actor or assistant producer, stage director or simultaneous interpreter. In 1987 with Fo and Rame he acted in the programme “Forced Broadcast”, shown in eight episodes on a national television channel (Rai3). In 1991 he plays a part in the film ‘Blue Lights Murder’, director Alfonso Brescia.
The long years spent as an apprentice and his unique relationship with the Master make Pirovano not only the most proven interpreter of the theatre of Dario Fo, but also an impassioned and tireless populariser of the style and language which have made Fo famous throughout the world and earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Pirovano plays Dario Fo
In 1991, whilst continuing to follow the tours of the two artists, Pirovano himself began to perform the one-man-show “Comic Mystery Play“, which is considered a classic of twentieth century theatre.
On Franca Rame’s suggestion, since 1999 he has been performing the play “Johan Padan and the Discovery of America”. Dario Fo himself appreciated the actor’s talent to such an extent that he entrusted him with the production of the play. This text was translated in English by Pirovano himself.
In 2005, Pirovano has revived Fo’s work: “I would like to die tonight if I thought that it had been for nothing”, testimonies collected live from partisans of the 2° world war.
Pirovano has translated in English also “Francis the Holy Jester“, the narrative about the life of Saint Francis, drawn from historic texts and ancient folk tales investigated by Dario Fo. The text was published in London by BeautifulBooks editor. This play has obtained everywere a great success, moreover at the Fringe Festival of Edinburgh in 2009.
Pirovano still performs Fo’s works in the most varied places: not only in theatres, but also in squares, schools, gymnasia, churches, parks and social clubs. He holds seminars and workshops in all Italy and abroad.
Not only Fo
2003, Umbria and Tuscany: monologue “Le Jeu de Robin et de Marion”, pastorale by Adam de la Halle, with the musical Ensemble Micrologus
2004, Liguria: monologue ”Jules II: life, adventures and battles (a cowboy Pope)”, by Marco Gherardi
WORKING IN THE FO-RAME COMPANY in Italy
“Comic Mystery Play”
“Story of the Tiger”
“Almost by Chance a Woman: Elisabetta”
“Hey, the Sansculottes!”
“Female Parts: Any Old Day”
“The Pope and the Witch”
“Dario Fo Plays Ruzante”
“Johan Padan and the Discovery of America”
“The Devil with Boobs”
“Free Marino, Marino is Innocent” (on the Sofri case)
“Francis the Holy Jester”
“The Anomalous Bicephalous Man”
Revivals of “Accidental Death of an Anarchist”
“Shut up! We’re Falling”
“Seventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Steal A Bit Less”
WORKING IN THE FO-RAME COMPANY, abroad
London Riverside Studios (1983): “Comic Mistery Play”
Edinburgh Festival (1986): “Comic Mistery Play”
United States (1986) in New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, Yale, Cambridge and San Francisco: “Comic Mistery Play”
United States (1987) in Cambridge (Boston): “Archangels Don’t Play Pinball” staged by the American Repertory Theatre
Moscow (1988), Taganka Theatre: “Comic Mistery Play”
Rio de Janeiro (1990): “Comic Mistery Play”
San Paolo do Brasil (1990): “The open couple”
Seville(1991): “Comic Mistery Play”
Copenhagen (1995): “Comic Mistery Play”
United States (2000) in Middletown (Connecticut) and New York: “Comic Mistery Play” and “Sex? Yes, Please, Just to Oblige”
In 2010 and 2011 Mario Pirovano participated to public readings of poets such Eugenio Montale, Sergey Esenin, Douglas Dunn, Josif Brodskij, Raymond Carver and Yves Bonnefoy.
Pirovano’s voice recites Bobby Sands’ and Robert Burns’ poems, in the CD published with the book “Canto un mondo libero” (“I sing a free world”) by Marco Fazzini.
In October 2014 he was present at the re-opening of an ancient watermill at Isola Rizza (Verona), acting and reading traditional stories about rice.