On BBC Radio 3 (Tuesday, March 31st) Roberto Benigni talked about his one-man theatre show about Dante’s Divine Comedy which has been filling stadiums in Italy and is now coming to London (Drury Lane Theatre) as part of a worldwide tour.
Bidisha (BBC Radio 3) talks to Oscar-winning Italian actor Roberto Benigni – best known for his comic film set during the Holocaust, Life Is Beautiful – about his obsession with Dante and his one-man show TuttoDante. Benigni is often remembered outside Italy for his behaviour at the 1998 Academy Awards when accepting the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for Life Is Beautiful – he climbed on the backs of the seats for his procession to the stage and applauded the audience.
Benigni is regarded in Italy as an excellent improvisatory poet and he can recite Dante’s Divine Comedy from memory. His one-man theatre show inspired by the Divine Comedy and mixed with observations on current affairs and his own past experiences has been a huge success in Italy. TuttoDante (Everything about Dante) was seen on television by more than ten million people. Bidisha asks whether something so Italian can make the transfer to Britain.