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The Revenger’s Tragedy

“Fluidity and ferocious grace”

La Repubblica

Written by Thomas Middleton
Performed in Italian with surtitles
Running time approximately 2 hours with no interval
2018 –

For their first Italian production, Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod chose The Revenger’s Tragedy by the Jacobean playwright Thomas Middleton. Intrigue, corruption, lust, narcissism and the thirst for power collide in a 17th century Italian court which seems strangely contemporary.

Seeking revenge at any cost for the murder of his fiancée, Vindice is drawn into a terrible helter-skelter of punishment which puts his very identity in crisis.

Produced by Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa, co-produced by Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione in collaboration with Cheek by Jowl.

We are grateful to the Italian Cultural Institute for their contribution to The Revenger’s Tragedy in London.

Cast and creative team



Marco BrinziLussurioso
Fausto CabraVindice
Flavio Capuzzo Dolcetta Junior
Martin ChishimbaJailer
Christian Di FilippoSupervacuo
Raffaele EspositoIppolito
Ruggero FranceschiniBishop
Errico LiguoriSpurio
Lucia LimontaThe Duchess
Marta MalvestitiCastiza
David MedenAmbitioso
Massimiliano SpezianiThe Duke
Emilia TiburziDoctor
Beatrice VerzottiGratiana
Marouane Zotti Judge


Ivan AlovisioLussurioso
Alessandro BandiniJunior
Marco BrinziJudge
Fausto CabraVindice
Martin ChishimbaJailer
Christian Di FilippoSupervacuo
Raffaele EspositoIppolito
Ruggero FranceschiniBishop
Pia LanciottiThe Duchess/Gratiana
Errico LiguoriSpurio
Marta MalvestitiCastiza
David MedenAmbitioso
Massimiliano SpezianiThe Duke
Beatrice VecchioneDoctor

Creative Team

DirectorDeclan Donnellan
DesignerNick Ormerod
Italian versionStefano Massini
LightingJudith Greenwood, Claudio De Pace
MusicGianluca Misiti
Assistant DirectorFrancesco Bianchi
MovementAlessio Maria Romano
Previous performances

Previous Performances

21-27 May 2021Worldwide, Film Version Release from Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Italy
4-7 March 2020London, Barbican, UK
22 February 2020Milan, Piccolo Teatro, Italy
29-30 June 2019Saint Petersburg, Theatre Olympics, Russia
7–8 February 2019Pordenone, Teatro Verdi, Italy
22 January–2 February 2019Rome, Teatro Argentina (Teatro di Roma), Italy
17–20 January 2019 Modena, ERT Teatro Storchi, Italy
10–13 January 2019Bologna, ERT Arena del Sole, Italy
12–16 December 2018Florence, Teatro della Pergola, Italy
4–6 December 2018Pavia, Teatro Fraschini, Italy
29–30 November 2018Lugano, Lugano LAC, Switzerland
20–25 November 2018Turin, Teatro Stabile, Italy
10 October –16 November 2018Milan, Piccolo Teatro, Italy

Cancelled Performances 2020-21

2020-21Milan, Piccolo Teatro, Italy
2020-21Sceaux, Les Gémeaux, Paris, France
2020Madrid, Centro Dramático Nacional, Spain



“A blackly comical delight… This elegantly perverse, beautifully barbed evening is a big success.”

The Times

“A bravura staging.”


“A bold, uproarious, unabashed, sexy extravaganza of power and corruption… The company is enthralling.”



“The Piccolo has achieved an outstanding result, and one at an international level. Donnellan is a magical director and a master of movement and action. The actors embody the absolute fusion of mind and body, full of life and giving life.”


“Donnellan embraces the language of Theatre in its entirety, a theatre which transcends speech and becomes breath and movement.”

Due Righe

“Donnellan’s powerful production allows the shadows of Strehler and Ronconi to vanish from the Piccolo.”

Corriere della Sera

“Delivered with fluidity and ferocious grace’, ‘a clear vision playing with contrasts, highlighting the dark opulence of his multi-personality imagination’, ‘Donnellan knows how to read the classics in the spirit of the times while never constraining them”

La Repubblica

“Dextrous interweaving of satire and tragedy’, ‘Magnificent direction with exceptional design, lighting, costumes and actors”

Il Giornale

“Declan Donnellan reveals this lavish, decadent, perverse world in a frenetic astonishing dance.”

La Lettura/Corriere della Sera

“Donnellan recognises the eternity of feelings and desires, and imbues his actors with extraordinary freedom.”

Cult Week

“Donnellan has created a production of unusual lightness, a ferocious comedy always surging forward. The Revenger’s tragedy, for all its imagery and elegance, is destined to mature in the imagination and return to haunt us with its elegance, refinement and thoughtfulness.”


“A brilliant production, Donnellan knows how to play Middleton’s wit in a contemporary key, fresh and with veiled references to our society.”

Milano Free

“Donnellan magnificently conveys 17th Century English theatre to a contemporary audience”

Milano Teatri

“A breath of fresh air for Milanese theatre.”

“The Revenger’s tragedy is astounding. Go and see it, because in the midst of the cutting irony, you will touch on limits of vice and perversity which only the human race is capable of crossing. Now and as it was then, century after century.”
Photograph: Masiar Pasquali © Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa
Production photo 2020
Photograph: Masiar Pasquali © Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa
Production photo
Photograph: Masiar Pasquali © Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa

“Dextrous interweaving of satire and tragedy”

Il Giornale

Surely we’re all mad people, and they
Whom we think are, are not – we mistake those:
‘Tis we are mad in sense, they but in clothes.

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