- Dario Fo
- Claude Mathieu
- Performed by
- Guillaume Gallienne
With joy and avidity, Guillaume Gallienne returns to the one-man-show Francis, the Holy Jester directed by his stage mentor, Claude Mathieu. This is the story of Saint Francis of Assisi, as portrayed by the political and facetious pen of Dario Fo, the winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for literature.
In 13th century Italy, Francis restores churches, speaks to birds and translates the Gospels into everyday language.
But before taking a vow of poverty and travelling the roads of Umbria, Francis was the son of a wealthy family from Assisi. Having survived a long illness, he decides to change his life and become a hermit, before founding the mendicant order of the Franciscans and commencing the path to holiness. With enthusiasm and mischief, he attracts onlookers, amuses them while denouncing the traps of money, power, manipulation and war.
“In this one-man-show resembling street theatre, Saint Francis speaks with all his body and voice,” explains Dario Fo. “Listening to him is like attending a show, a religious comedy. He has all the expertise of a great actor and holy jester.” The stage consists solely of a table, stool, spotlight and an actor dressed in black, emphasising the starkness of the monologue.
Directed by Claude Mathieu of the Comédie-Française, Guillaume Gallienne celebrates life and denounces all forms of dogmatism with verve and irony.