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La persecuzione e l'assassinio di Jean-Paul Marat

(The persecution and assassination of Jean-Paul Marat)

About this event

Since 1999 the director Nanni Garella has been working with psychiatric patients of Arte e Salute Association, trying to combine, but especially to compare, the artistic work of theatre with the field of mental health. After a long course of training and play, the actors of Arte e Salute have received many awards, including Premio Ubu, Premio Hystrio, Critics Award  and have confronted themselves with authors  like Pirandello, Pinter, Brecht, Pasolini, Scarpetta. Leaded by Nanni Garella, the group of actors will confront themselves with a classic of the  avant-garde theatre of the 20th century by Peter Weiss. The Marquis de Sade, who was imprisoned in the asylum of Charenton, staged a play about Marat’s murder giving to the patients the role of the characters. On stage, besides the actors of Arte e Salute and Nanni Garella himself, one of the most beloved Italian actress, Laura Marinoni.

The persecution and assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as performed by the inmates of the asylum of Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Sade  – currently shortened to Marat-Sade – without doubt, is one of the most interesting and new dramas of the entire post-war period. Written by Peter Weiss in 1963 and revised for the final version in 1964, it was performed for the first time at the Schiller – Theater in Berlin April 29, 1964. Life and death of Marat, the most radical man of French Revolution, are staged, thirteen years after the fatal stabbing of Charlotte Corday, by the inmates of the asylum of Charenton, near Paris, the asylum where Sade himself was penned between 1801 and 1814. The result is a virtuosity work, in which popular horror, humor, intellectual dialogue of madness fits to the rigor of classical theatre and shade into each other, in a game of ‘theatre in the theatre’. The elaboration of the text is the result of a long workshop on the text and on the drama, as usual for  Arte e salute; it will certainly produce singular interpretation of this cult text of the twentieth century. Weiss used the historical drama to highlight the conflict between Marat, the uncompromising defender of justice and reason, and Sade, the instinctive interpreter of anarchism and aristocracy. The clash between the two instances remains open – Marat can be a hero or a fool and Sade a wise man – and turns into a fascinating debate about freedom. After many interpretations – including the historic one by Peter Brook in 1967 – Marat-Sade finally arrives to the group of psychiatric patients of Arte e salute, who will be able to represent what were the conditions of inmates in mental hospitals: a further opportunity to show to the public, through the art, their liberation from the constraints of the disease and their yearning for freedom.

Nanni Garella




Theatre Season 2018/2019
Create Hamamatsu Hall - Hamamatsu
Istituto Italiano di cultura - Tokyo

Artistic Data

by Peter Weiss
adptation and direction Nanni Garella
with Roberta De Stefano/Laura Marinoni, Nanni Garella, Nicola Berti, Luca Formica, Pamela Giannasi, Maria Rosa Iattoni, Iole Mazzetti, Fabio Molinari, Mirco Nanni, Lucio Polazzi, Deborah Quintavalle, Moreno Rimondi, Roberto Risi
original music Saverio Vita
costumes Elena Dal Pozzo
director’s assistant Nicola Berti
production Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione
in collaboration with Associazione Arte e Salute onlus


foto di Raffaella Cavalieri


a production of La persecuzione e l'assassinio di Jean-Paul Marat • Production Emilia Romagna Teatro