Alien’s Order – Shakespeare In Italy
Pop up and street theatre performances from Shakespeare in Italy’s community arts project Alien’s Order.
At the Italian Festival, Peterborough 9th and 10th September.
Including theatre shorts Galline, Fagiolo and La Lettera by Gianni Zamo.
Central Library, Peterborough., 2pm, on Saturday, 9th September. Entrance free.
‘If it be proved against an alien’. Portia, The Merchant of Venice
Alien order was a system of registration familiar to Italians in the UK.
The project was inspired by an Italian Community Association publication, Aliens Order, which took its name from the certificate of registration and identity card that people arriving in the UK had to sign up to in the 1950s if they wanted to work in the country.
The ICA publication is a photographic history of the Italians who came to work at the London Brick Company in the1950s, who like other immigrants working in the UK, were categorised as Aliens. Shakespeare uses the word alien in The Merchant of Venice as Portia says to Shylock “If it be proved against an alien that by direct or indirect attempts”.
The theatre project will explore themes of tolerance, understanding, love and family through the experience of families who have come to work in the city from overseas and with reference to Shakespeare’s Italian plays including Romeo and Juliet, Othello and of course The Merchant of Venice. It will culminate at the Italian Festival in the city on September 9 and 10 in lively, colourful fun pop-up performances with a nod to Commedia Dell Arte.