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Fleabag producer brings Berlusconi musical to London stage | Theater

A musical about Silvio Berlusconi that’s described as “Evita on acid”, written by two former Grange Hill stars and includes a track known as My Weekend With Vladimir is to be staged in London subsequent 12 months.

Entitled Berlusconi, it’s billed as an “virtually true story” and produced by Francesca Moody who’s finest recognized for her success with Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag. The musical depicts the three-time former Italian PM on the eve of the decision in his trial for tax fraud as he appears again on his rise and fall and resolves to jot down an autobiographical opera. His story of him is then advised via the eyes of three girls: Ilda Boccassini, the Milan Justice of the Peace generally known as Ilda the Pink who investigated him; Berlusconi’s second spouse, the actor Veronica Lario, who left him in 2009 after almost 20 years of marriage; and the character of a journalist who is predicated on actual folks. “It locations a fierce feminist lens on him,” stated Moody of the musical. “These girls are telling their story.”

The present will discover Berlusconi’s charisma, the best way he held energy “with a smile and a wink” and the way he “set the rulebook” for a sure populist management model, stated Moody, drawing some parallels with Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. The producer added that Berlusconi could be represented “as an actual individual, not a cartoonish determine”.

Promising a “sounding pop rating, beats and Eurotrash-style songs”, Berlusconi is described by Moody as “Evita on acid”. The guide, music and lyrics are by Ricky Simmonds and Simon Vaughan who’ve been writing musicals collectively for years. The pair met as baby actors on the set of Grange Hill; Simmonds performed Ant Jones on the BBC TV faculty collection whereas Vaughan had the function of Freddie Mainwaring.

Producer Francesca Moody’s hits embrace Fleabag. {Photograph}: Sarah Lee/The Guardian

Berlusconi was not too long ago the topic of a biopic, Loro, directed by Paolo Sorrentino. The musical style is a becoming selection for the plutocrat who was as soon as a cruise-ship crooner and has written numerous sentimental love songs with the composer, singer and guitarist Mariano Apicella.

There is not any scarcity of fabric for plot from the lifetime of the politician, billionaire media magnate and host of “bunga bunga” intercourse events who led three Italian governments between 1994 and 2011, incomes the nickname “the immortal”. He served a group service order for company tax fraud in 2015, and has been on the middle of authorized proceedings together with a conviction overturned on attraction for paying an underage lady for intercourse.

Artwork for the musical Berlusconi
Paintings for the musical Berlusconi

In September, a coalition together with Berlusconi’s Forza Italia occasion gained the overall election. The musical comedian – which might be staged as Italy adjusts to its most rightwing authorities because the second world conflict – may even have a critical and “incisive” method, pressured Moody. “A lot of the best way he behaved is complicated and ridiculous – it is simple to satirise that.” The end result, she stated, is a political musical that gives “a very good evening out – however you allow the theater feeling fairly unusual about how a lot you’ve got been entertained by it”.

Berlusconi, based mostly on an authentic concept by Alan Hayling and directed by James Grieve, will open at Southwark Playhouse’s new theater in Elephant and Fortress, south London, in spring. Audiences will hear musical numbers together with For Italy, Bunga Bunga, Thank Goodness for Silvio and My Weekend with Vladimir. Berlusconi, 86, stated final month that he and the Russian president Vladimir Putin had re-established relations and that Putin had despatched him 20 bottles of vodka as a birthday current, together with a “very candy letter”.

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