chapter  17
Giorgio Strehler’s Il gioco dei potenti
A Shakespearean Master Finds His Voice
ByMace Perlman
Pages 19

Giorgio Strehler recognized the need to explore both power struggle between Caesar and the Republican conspirators on one hand, and human drama of shattered friendship between Cassius and Brutus on the other. This dialectic tension between public and private, the political and personal, the collective and ndividual lay at the heart of Brecht's productions, and it would carry Strehler through his subsequent Coriolanus and onwards to his Il gioco dei potenti. Walking a theatrical tightrope, Strehler adopted an approach to directing Shakespeare driven by powerful imperatives. Renato de Carmine as King Henry VI; Valentina Cortese and later Andrea Jonasson as Queen Margaret; Corrado Pani as Richard, Duke of York; and Franco Graziosi as both Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and "the Actor", a kind of choral storyteller incorporating texts from other of Shakespeare's histories: all were consummate protagonists in their given roles, yet all served a larger, epic structure that prevailed over the question of any individual performances.