Eduardo De Filippo

Plays by Eduardo De Filippo

Filumena Marturano (trans. Ardito)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Filumena is De Filippo’s best-known work and arguably his finest comedy-drama, drenched in Neapolitan atmosphere and full of entanglements at once cynical and romantic.

In the heat of late-1940s Naples, Filumena Maraturano lies on her deathbed awaiting her marriage to Domenico Soriano, the man who has kept her as his mistress for twenty-seven years. But no sooner has the priest completed the ceremony than Filumena makes a miraculous recovery. As he reels in shock, Domenico discovers that this brilliant, iron-willed woman has a few more surprises for him.

Is Filumena a simple, illiterate woman who wants to create a family for her children, or a ferine, opportunistic prostitute? Will Domenico, the selfish aged gigolo, learn to accept his responsibilities? Exploring themes of family, age and love, Filumena exemplifies De Filippo’s trademark moral optimism and warmth, coupled with unflinchingly astute and humorous observation of his characters.

This translation is by Carlo Ardito.

Filumena (trans. Wertenbaker)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Filumena is de Filippo’s best-known work and arguably his finest comedy-drama, drenched in Neapolitan atmosphere and full of entanglements at once cynical and romantic.

In the heat of late-1940s Naples, Filumena Maraturano lies on her deathbed awaiting her marriage to Domenico Soriano, the man who has kept her as his mistress for twenty-seven years. But no sooner has the priest completed the ceremony than Filumena makes a miraculous recovery. As he reels in shock, Domenico discovers that this brilliant, iron-willed woman has a few more surprises for him.

Is Filumena a simple, illiterate woman who wants to create a family for her children, or a ferine, opportunistic prostitute? Will Domenico, the selfish aged gigolo, learn to accept his responsibilities? Exploring themes of family, age and love, Filumena exemplifies De Filippo’s trademark moral optimism and warmth, coupled with unflinchingly astute and humorous observation of his characters.

This striking translation by Timberlake Wertenbaker was first performed at the Piccadilly Theatre, London, in 1998.

Grand Magic

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Unhappy wife Marta needs to take a drastic step if she wants to escape her jealous husband. To that end, she and her lover recruit the help of a seedy magician, who chooses Marta as his volunteer for the ‘disappearing person’ trick in his act.

When her jealous husband realizes that Marta is not reappearing, he demands that the magician return her.

In Grand Magic, Eduardo de Filippo, explores questions of faith, obsession, and delusion.This translation was first performed in England at the National Theatre, London, in 1995.

The Local Authority

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

When the court system is corrupt, where can people turn for justice? In a small town in Napoli – the setting for The Local Authority – justice rests in the hands of the local mafia on, Antonio Barracano.

But when Antonio is shot during the mediation of a dispute, he must struggle in his final hours to prevent a blood-feud from erupting after his death.

Written in 1960, The Local Authority was first performed in England in 1979.

Napoli Milionaria

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Desperate to survive during the Second World War, Matriarch Amalia directs her family’s activities in the Italian black market, despite the disapproval of her husband, Gennaro.

When Gennaro returns from his time as a prisoner-of-war, he discovers that his family has descended even deeper into the criminal world.

First written in 1945, de Fillippo's play examines the plight of the poor and the moral corruption of the black market. Its first production featured both the author and his sister in major roles. This adaptation premiered at the National Theatre, London, in 1995.

The Syndicate

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

The Syndicate is a dark comedy of pathos and farce by one of Italy's pre-eminent dramatists of the twentieth century, Eduardo de Filippo.

Smuggled out of Naples in his youth after stabbing a brutal nightwatchman to death, Antonio Barracano returned home in the 1960s as a wealthy man. He used his newfound status to quash his murder conviction, and was soon feared but respected throughout the city. Don Antonio has made it his life's work to bring rough justice to the criminals of Naples who otherwise have no fear of the law. He rules the city's underbelly with a rod of iron.

The play begins when a respectable but poor young man who has resolved to murder his father comes to Don Antonio for advice. The Neapolitan 'Godfather' emerges from the shadows to make the young man's father an offer he can't refuse. The comedy grows blacker as 'respectable' Naples collides with its criminal underworld. The Syndicate is a grippingly theatrical examination of fear and alternative justice.

De Filippo's Il sindaco del rione Sanità is made newly accessible and contemporary in this translation by Mike Poulton.

Picture of Eduardo De Filippo

Eduardo de Filippo (1900-1984) was a Neapolitan actor, playwright, screenwriter, author and poet. His best known works include Napoli Milionaria, Filumena and Sabato, domenica e lunedì (Saturday, Sunday and Monday). He is regarded as one of Italy's greatest dramatists.