The Tricks of the Trade by Dario Fo
Throughout the 1980s, Dario Fo, Italy's best known and most provocative satirical playwright, and his wife Franca Rame, the celebrated actress and feminist, conducted a series of performance-seminars around the world on the subject of acting. In places as diverse as London's Riverside Studios, Rome's Teatro Argentina and Perugia's Free University of Alcatraz, Fo and Rame have revealed to rapt audiences the many facets of the actor's art - his or her 'Tricks of the Trade'. Tracing the life of the comic performer back to the itinerant jongleur and the skillful improvisations of later commedia dell'arte troupes, Fo's genius as both a player and synthesiser of the historical past allows him to resurrect before our eyes and ears a shadow performer upon whom all actors unwittingly base their work. Using mime, masks, pieces of text, dance, action and snatches from songs, Fo and Franca Rame consolidate many months of their lecture demonstrations into a 'Six Day' workshop, a staged demonstration that is also a Fo-on-Fo one-man show. It is released to coincide with the paperback release of Dario Fo's autobiography "My First Seven Years Plus a Few More".