Miracles at the Basilica …Francesca Benedetti plays Beckett and even more in Padua with Maria Teresa Benedetti ‘900 Italiano

A wonder to behold at Teatro Basilica in Rome
Francesca Benedetti in “Back to Beckett”

An amazing one woman 90 minute performance directed by

Marco Carniti


With a special introduction by Antonio Calenda and an even more particular epilogue by the poet Elio Pecora.
After Beckett there can only be silence……..not with Francesca though!!!!!!! …………………………and after tonight’s performance by the octogenarian actress Francesca Benedetti
We can only thank God that in the shadow of the magnificent San Giovanni in Laterano,the most ancient Basilica in Rome, we were present to witness such a miracle.
Tommaso Le Pera,the renowned photographer whose son Pino is manager of this unique space were both present as were the Signora Pirandello and Signora Sironi.
David Paryla,Romeo and Hamlet in Rome a few years ago and now a star of German TV was amongst the many personalities who were witness to a star shining brightly tonight.
Ever generous Francesca had the whole world in her hands tonight.
She implored me to tell the public my experiences with Beckett .
Via numerous messages we had been in touch with each other in these traumatic days for her of preparing such a marthon.
Luckily she had that most eclectic and adorable of directors Marco Carniti at her side.
Fresh from their triumph with Pasolini last year.
I told Francesca that she was the ‘Diva’ and I had no right or wish to share the stage with her even for a second.
At the end of her marathon monologue she insisted that I come on stage with her …..
…………..what could I do when a Queen demands…………. her faithful servants must obey.
Noblesse oblige!
Beckett directs Beckett in 1983 at the newly opened Ghione Theatre in Rome.
Reminded last night with the great and adorable  Francesca Benedetti of the time the prisoners,in for life at San Quentin prison in the USA, performed Becket in Rome as part of a world tour organised from Australia!
Beckett had gone into the prison to direct three works:Waiting for Godot,Krapps Last Tape and End Game.
No women in sight.
No ‘Happy Days’ for these lifers!
It was Cluchy the star who every evening I would accompany to the bar opposite the Ghione Theatre for many stiff whiskies to give him the courage to go on stage.
It was a great event and much publicised .
When this rather elite audience began to realise that the few words that Beckett gave them were in english and without surtitles, the numbers rapidly diminished!
 Beckett was hard to find too.
No mobile or telephone for him.
If you wanted to contact him you would have to ring a bar in Paris and ask to be passed to one of their habitual clients!
Sad to discover, much later, that the whole cast one by one was stricken with AIDS  in a period when so many great artists were struck down so cruelly and  unjustly.
I was living in Chelsea,the centre of London years before meeting my wife to be Ileana Ghione.
I had finished my studies at the RAM and in Rome and Paris and was a struggling musician happy to take on some students to tide me over to the next engagements.
One of these was a little french child about six years old and her father Arikha was the man that helped Beckett design his sparse very essential sets.
Little did I know that I would marry a famous actress and build and run a theatre in Rome for forty years!Small world!………
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    • Photos by Tommaso Le Pera in 1983
    • Tommaso and Pino Le Pera this evening
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David Paryla and beautiful friend

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Signora Sironi and Signora Pirandello
Below Elio Pecora with Francesca Benedetti and Marco Carniti
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a Triumph for the great Francesca Benedetti


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