Le jeu de Robin et de Marion

By Adam de la Halle

From La Nazione, 30 April 2003: “In Narni Mario Pirovano gives a special performance, to the music of Micrologus, of a new show. “It’s a very suggestive and highly theatrical mix, in which the voice and extraordinary expressiveness of Mario Pirovano combine with the medieval music of Micrologus, an ancient text of the French troubadour Adam de la Halle and the prestigious support of Dario Fo. It is the first time that an operation of this kind (usual and much appreciated in the rest of Europe) has appeared in Italy, and the merit goes to the Micrologus ensemble. It was they who, having decided to put on the work, contacted Pirovano after seeing him in Fo’s “Comic Mystery Play” (Mistero Buffo). “And now here I am”, says the enthusiastic Pirovano, “I act on stage and bring to life all the characters in “Le Jeu de Robin et de Marion”, the story of a thirteenth century village, inhabited by shepherds and peasants: real people, bouncing with joy, full of humanity and illusions.”
In this universe, “a far cry from the dull, dark stereotyped image of the Middle Ages”, are interspersed the songs of Micrologus, which accompany and punctuate the story. And then there is Dario Fo. “He was here at Easter”, says Mario,“ and I took the chance of reading him the translation of the work into Italian . He was enthusiastic, rewrote three pages straight off and provided me with the main passages of the song which is heard at the beginning.”

A truly unique experience, which Mario Pirovano has created in the Church of San Francesco in Narni, interpreting the various characters of this pastorale, a musical masterpiece composed in the 13th century: shepherds, shepherdesses, the knight, all populate an idyllic and carefree country, amid sounds of whistles and drums, in which, nevertheless, come to the surface violence, cunning and meanness….The music and songs to the accompaniment of original medieval instruments make this particular show most enjoyable.
In it the ancient jesters’ art benefits from the translation of the original text in Langue d’Oïl into an Italic language invented in the Fo style, an alternation of the educated and the popular. A novel (and ancient) way of making theatre.”