First Ladies

year: 2013


by Werner Schwab
translation Umberto Gandini
adaptation Rita Frongia
with Elisa Pol, Federica Rinaldi, Maurizio Lupinelli
direction Maurizio Lupinelli
with Michele Bandini
costumes Maria Chiara Grotto
lights Giacomo Gorini
a special thanks to Claudio Morganti
production Nerval Teatro, Armunia Festival
with the support of Regione Toscana – Settore Spettacolo
in collaboration with Comune di Guardistallo, Centro Artistico Il Grattacielo, Teatrol’Ordigno di Vada

Foto Guido Mencari


premiere 1 luglio 2013 al Festival Inequilibrio di Castiglioncello, (LI)


“Words used for outsiders have no fairy tale virtues.”

Werner Schwab’s First Ladies is a fierce satire denouncing the conformism, religious hypocrisy, and verbal and physical violence concealed beneath the seemingly calm exterior of human relationships. In a kitchen, three female characters tell their stories alternating between irony and grotesque humour and sudden dips into tragedy, like grubby masks in a puppet theatre.

Le Presidentesse constitutes the second stage of Nerval Teatro’s Schwab Project, a three-year journey dedicated to the world and language of the Austrian author. Schwab’s writing transforms language into human flesh; his characters must possess the talent- or humility- to allow themselves to be physical transfigured, get caught by the throbbing and shaking. The actor’s physicality is indispensable to embody language in a theatre that renders the buzzing intensity of life.


“Kudos to Maurizio Lupinelli. Like Dario D’Ambrosi in Rome, Lupinelli has been working for years with disabled children between Rosignano and Castiglioncello and transforms this work into theatre, into art.”
[Franco Cordelli, Corriere della Sera, 20 March 2014]


“The hypocritical label “differently abled” acquires an unexpected meaning on the stage: the winnings in a wager that defies the respectability of the normally (un)able.”
[Giulio Sonno, PAPER STREET, February 4, 2014]