Antonio Fava DVD
I provided the voice-over for the ARTS ARCHIVES documentary of Antonio Fava working with drama students at Exeter University. Contains video sequences of each of his major masks. Available from https://www.routledgeperformancearchive.com/multimedia/video/masks-of-the-commedia-dellarte-antonio-fava-with-john-rudlin
The Selavy Scenarios
A wide variety of traditional and contemporary commedia canovacci and scenarios in one, two and three act forms, originally written specially for groups working at Centre Sélavy, but suitable for all levels of training and performance: available via email@example.com
BONUS FOR READING THIS FAR!
The Jealousy of Pedrolino
(La Jalousie du Barbouillé by Moliėre)
Angélique, daughter to Gorgibus
Valère, in love with Angélique
Cathau, friend of Angélique
Gorgibus, Angélique’s father
I must say I’m the most wretched of men. My wife enrages me. Instead of comforting me and doing the things that I’d like her to do, she rubs me up the wrong way twenty times a day; she goes out for walks instead of tidying the house, runs up bills and hangs around with riff-raff. Poor Pedrolino, what a state to be in. She needs punishing. Supposing I murder her
… Stupid idea – you’d get hung for it. Have her sent to prison… The old bag would soon be out with her passkey. What the devil can I do? Look, there’s the Doctor passing by: I’ll ask him for some good advice as to what I should do.
Enter THE DOCTOR.
I was on my way to find you to ask you for your help a matter of great importance to me.
You must have been badly brought up, my friend, poorly educated and insufficiently instructed in etiquette, since you accost me without raising your hat, without correct observation of rationem loci, temporis et personae. What? Starting a conversation with some maladroit discourse, instead of saying ‘Salve, Salvus sis, Doctor, doctorum eruditissime! Eh? Who do you take me for, my friend?
Oh dear, do excuse me, my mind was in a sling, I wasn’t thinking what I was doing; of course I know what a learned man you are.
Do you know where the phrase ‘learned man’ comes from?
I don’t care whether it comes from Newton Pagnell or Newton Poppleford, it’s all the same to me.
You should know that the phrase ‘learned man’ comes from the words ‘earn’ and ‘ned’ with the prefix ‘l’ added, thus making ‘learned’ which, when followed by the word ‘man’, gives us ‘learned man’. I put it to you again: who do you take me for?
I take you for a doctor… Now, leaving that aside, let’s speak a little of the matter that I want to mention to you.
You should first know that I am not only a doctor, but a doctor one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten times over.
Firstly since one is the base, the fundament, and the primordial of all numbers, I also am the first among all doctors, the doc of docs.
Secondly since there are two faculties necessary for the perfect understanding of all matters, sense and sensibility, and I am all sense and all sensibility, I am therefore a doctor twice over.
Yes, of course. It’s just that…
Thirdly, since the number three is the number of perfection, according to Aristotle, and I am perfect and everything I do is perfect, therefore I am three times a doctor.
Quite so! Now, Mr. Doctor…
Fourthly, because philosophy has four branches: logic, ethics, physics and metaphysics, and since I embody all four of them, and am perfectly versed in the aforesaid, I am therefore a doctor four times over.
What the hell! I believe you. Listen to me, will you?
Fifthly, because there are five universal constituents: genus, species, disparity, parity and the accidental, without a thorough knowledge of which it is impossible to come to any rational conclusions, and since I use them to my advantage, and I am acquainted with their worth, I am a doctor five times over.
I suppose I’ll just have to be patient.
Sixthly, because six is the number of labour, and since I labour incessantly for my reputation, I am six times a doctor.
Bah! Talk as much as you want!
Seventhly, because the number seven is the number of happiness, and since I possess a perfect understanding of everything which renders one happy, and since I am so thanks to my own ingenuity, I find myself obliged to say of myself O ter quattuorque beatum!
Eighthly, because the number eight is the number of justice, given the regularity of its shape, due to the measure of justice and prudence with which I weigh all my actions, I am therefore a doctor eight times over.
Ninthly, because there are nine Muses, and I am the darling of them all.
Tenthly, because since one cannot pass the number ten without repeating all the other numbers, and because it is the universal number, likewise, moreover, when they found me, they discovered the universal doctor: within me are contained all the other doctors. Thus you may see, for reasons which are plausible, veracious, demonstrative and conclusive, that I am one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten times a doctor.
What the hell’s going on? I thought I’d found a knowledgeable man who would give me some good advice, and what do I get? A chimney sweep who, instead of talking to me, amuses himself by playing counting games on his fingers. One, two, three, four – ha, ha, ha! No, no, I’m not laughing, it’s just that I’m begging you to listen to me: I’m not one to make you waste your time, believe me, and if you can come up with an answer to what I’m going to ask you, I’ll give you anything you want, even money if you want.
Did you say money?
Yes, money – and anything else you like.
adjusting his gown behind him
Thus you take me for a man for whom money is the be-all and the end-all, for a profiteer with the soul of a mercenary? You should know, my friend, that if you gave me a purse full of cash, and that purse was stashed inside a valuable box, and that box was inside a precious case, and that case inside an antique coffer, and that coffer was inside an inlaid desk, and that desk to be found in a magnificent room, and that room in a superb mansion, and that mansion in a famous town, and that town on a fertile island, and that island in a prosperous province, that province in a flourishing kingdom and that kingdom set somewhere in the whole world, and you were to give me the whole world, and the flourishing kingdom set within it, and the prosperous province within the kingdom, and the fertile island within the province, and the famous town on the island, and the superb mansion within the town, and the magnificent room within the mansion, and the inlaid desk within the room, and the antique coffer within the desk, and the precious case within the coffer, and the valuable box within the case, and the purse full of cash within the box, I wouldn’t give a toss for your money, nor for you either. (Exit)
Oh dear, I seem to have made a mistake: because he was dressed as a doctor, I assumed he was interested in money, but since he obviously doesn’t want paying, it’ll be a simple matter to find him some other recompense. I’d better run after him at once. (Exit)
Translation © 1990 by John Rudlin. Full text available on request.
N.B. ‘Barbouillé’ means white-faced, not bearded!
Other translations from the French include: Peter Patterman (Pierre Pathelin), anon.; Scapin does his thing (Les Fourberries de Scapin), Moliere; Le Marriage de Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Beaumarchais; King Bigjob (Ubu Roi), Alfred Jarry; The Bowling-Greens (Les Boulingrins), Courteline and Ghelderode’s Ostend.