La locandiera is one of Carlo Goldoni’s best known comedies. Written in 1753, the comedy is about how women can easily manipulate men through their mannerisms and sweet talk, making him become fragile and attracted to her.
In this comedy, Mirandolina, the inn keeper, is well surroounded by noble men who shower her with praises and gifts, amongst them the Marquis of Forlipopoli and the Count of Albafiorita. She enjoys teasing them and encourage their hopes that she might marry one of them. However, at her inn arrives the Baron of Ripafratta who is a sworn mysogynist and cannot stand women. To him all women are the same chuckling in their nonsense, unsincere and manipulative. Mirandolina is upset by his attitude and swears to make him fall for her at whatever cost. Fabrizio her faithful servant who is in love with her is very jealous and does not like to see her giving in to the compliments of these noble clients. At the inn arrive two actresses who take on the role of two noble women to gain the affections of the Marquis and the Count, hoping they too get a share of the gifts.
In this comedy Goldoni exposes the hypocrisy of the nobles during his time and ridicules men’s weaknesses towards the gentle sex both those who have lost their nobility as well as those who bought their noble status thinking that love can be bought with gifts and sweet words. Although this is a comedy written over 250 years ago yet it presents elements which are equally relevant in today’s age since the eleemnt of love is timeless.
Il-Lukandiera in a Maltese translation by Albert Marshall, will be staged at San Nikola Hall in Tarxien, on Saturday 21 October at 19:30 and Sunday 22 October at 6.00 pm. The cast includes Mario Camilleri, Lisa Farrugia, Sandro Vella, Patrick Tanti, Matthew Balzan, Lydia Portelli, Amanda Cachia and Franky Borg. This production is being directed by Anthony Ellul and produced by 4teenth Productions.