Don’t trust words

by Jean Tardieu

Jean Tardieu (1905-95) was one of the most surprising figures in 20th-century French culture: a pupil of Martin du Gard and Gide and a friend of Queneau, Ionesco, Ungaretti and Vittorini, he was a poet, playwright and prose writer, but also a translator of Hölderlin and Goethe.

Our performance unites three short comedies, Le Guichet (“The Ticket Office”), perhaps the best-known of Tardieu’s plays, Finissezvos phrases! (“Finish Your Sentences”) and De quoi parlez-vous? (“What Are You Talking About”), plus some extracts from various writings and the poem “Quandbienmême...” (“Even if”). And it ends with a poem-testament of touching beauty, “L’hommequi” (“The man who”).

The title, Don’t Trust Words, clearly conveys the attitude of the author, who made the word, the overturning of its meaning and its ambiguous semantic life the focus of a long and passionate work.

The Teatro Arsenale is reviving, as it does frequently, the work of a little-known playwright – absent from the Italian stage for many years – who has the quality of a classic and therefore is always a contemporary.

translation Federica Locatelli

adaptation and direction Marina Spreafico

with Isabella Bert Sambo, Giovanni Di Piano, Mario Ficarazzo, Claudia Lawrence

scenery and paintings  AmbraRinaldo

sound design Walter Prati

lighting design Christian Laface

lighting assistant Martino Minzoni

costumes assistant AlessiaDonnini

stagehand Claudio Cerra

we would like to thank the Sartoria Brancato