WARNING: This interview contains spoilers.
Ahead of our 2020 performances in Madrid, London, Milan and Paris, we spoke to the Assistant Director of The Revenger’s Tragedy Francesco Bianchi about his role, his favourite moments, and what it’s like to work with Declan and Nick.
I am the Assistant Director of The Revenger’s Tragedy, which means that I have to take care of many things. These include organisation, scheduling, contacting people and liaising between the director and the cast, the director and the technical team, the director and the communications office, and so on. This job can sometimes be a little tricky, but it is made easier with the kind and patient support of Declan and Nick.
This isn’t even the best part. The best part about being Assistant Director on this project is having the opportunity to get involved in the process of creating scenes, taking a step back to look at the bigger picture of the show and throwing myself into understanding how to be a good support to the director during rehearsals, from assisting on the tiniest things to helping with the biggest decisions.
I feel honoured to be part of The Revenger’s Tragedy and especially honoured to have such responsibility in helping to build the show and in solving some of the problems that arise (a lot of them happen, in every production). It’s a thrill!
“Every aspect of working with them feels completely natural, allowing you to work at your best and create work together.”
I met Declan and Nick at the Teatro Due in Parma, where I grew up and where I still work. They had come for a meeting with Paola Donati, Director of Fondazione Teatro Due, and I was there as a translator.
I took Declan and Nick on a tour of the Teatro Farnese (a theatre built in the XVII century and a monument of extraordinary beauty) and we had a little chat there. Declan asked me if I had experience as Assistant Director and I said yes. I began working with them soon after.
Being in the rehearsal room with Declan and Nick is an amazing experience, because you can recognise their great knowledge of theatre and their artistic gaze in every part of their work. Their openness means you never feel nervous or fearful around them. Every aspect of working with them feels completely natural, allowing you to work at your best and create work together. It is just pure life and pure enjoyment!
“We somehow find laughter in everything going tragically wrong.“
My favourite moment in the play is when Ambizioso and Supervacuo are expecting to receive news of the death of their brother, Lussurioso. They are nervous, and they get excited when a box is delivered to them by a guard. What they don’t know is that the head in the box belongs to their other brother, Junior. A mistake has been made, and their plan has been turned upside down. This is a moment of pure comedy in the presence of a horrible death (represented by a disembodied head hidden from the audience’s view).
This scene has really helped me to understand just how powerful theatre can be: the characters are completely convinced of one thing, and yet we somehow find laughter in everything going tragically wrong.