The Bandit's Queen

by Federico Bertozzi
with Sara Donzelli
lights Marcello D'Agostino
music by Carlo Gatteschi and Indoeuropean Music Ensemble
video images by Michele Nanni
directed by Giorgio Zorcù
Production Accademia Mutamenti, Tuscany of Cultures, Contemporary-Province of Grosseto

Phoolan Devi, The Queen of the Bandits, is a legendary and controversial figure of contemporary India, although virtually unknown to the European public.

Her exemplary affair of Woman Warrior, reluctantly forced to arms, offers us an opportunity to address the issue of power of the rebellion and violence; and here especially, being a woman, enhances the image of sexual violence, and the action of Phoolan as a voice of female courage where oppression has reduced the man to silence.

Today we propose to renew the memory of this young girl forced to take up a gun, recognizing the usefulness of tell that predestination to pain and that claims of individual and collective right that has deep roots in the epic of our culture.
The Queen of the Bandits has been the focus of many demonstrations on Women and Violence, in collaboration with several Anti-violence Centers throughout Italy; was chosen as “entertainment-symbol” for 25 November – International Day against Violence on Women: in 2006 in Orbetello (Gr) and in 2007 in Milan.

A dramatic testimony of how, in contemporary society, a living being, even before a woman, can live a state of permanent violence and find in the violence itself the only chance of redemption.

Il Giornale di Vicenza, 23 June '06

The space of The Queen of the Bandits is simple, almost empty. It fills progressively of the textual and interpretative density of the show. The portal at the center of the scene is home – never static, never safe - in which the young woman expresses and presents: is the vibrating body of Donzelli the instrument with the greatest impact and effectiveness. Heroism on stage goes beyond history and is also the experience of the actress, which condenses in itself different characters, through a complex temporal process, presents them through three different narrative levels. The events are interwoven, come on and give way to moments of introspection and contextualization. Show dense and compelling.

Bloggers / Teatrinmovimento, 24 June '06

The Queen against violence.

La Nazione, 16 December ‘06

The project "Women and Violence" combines the emotional power of theater – with The Queen of the Bandits – to the rationality of the debate to turn into consciousness, especially of the younger and the males of all ages, the awareness of how violence against women is a problem of all.

Liberazione, 13 January '07

The Indian Robin Hood became a legend. On stage, the adventures of a uncatchable woman who stole from the rich to give to the poor.

Il Napoli, 31 March '07

There is a heroine on stage.

La Repubblica/Napoli, 31 March '07

The story is true, actually happened to Phoolan Devi, now a story of vengeance and expiation, of hidden secrets, even dreams behind horrors and fatal pains, the story of a lost innocence forever. Returns her, in a small and simple scene, made only with a few objects, a chair, a stick and the frame of a door in Indian style, actress Sara Donzelli: a long monologue, her, where the power of the word is also found in gestures, in the act of the body its persuasion. A sensitive and sympathetic test.

La Repubblica Milano, 1 December 2007

The story of Phoolan Devi addresses the issue of violence to women with extreme lucidity and disillusionment. Since its inception the viewer is not granted evasion. From the beautiful interpretation of Sara Donzelli emerges clear the horror of the life of Phoolan, but also the intense force of this woman born “bitch” and died as a leader, beacuse Phoolan bends, but does not break. From the piece is hard not to go out at least disturbed. The credit of this work is to shake us: how many Phoolan Devi there are among us? Phoolan challenge men on their own fields: the more they violate the sanctity of his body, the more she violates the taboos of their powers. She guides bandits men, shoot with their guns, dictates the terms of its surrender, imposes herself in politics. The Queen of the bandits does not tell us that the redemption of women is done easily and painlessly; does not even assures us that it can succeed until the end because in the end Phoolan is murdered. But there is an invitation and it clearly emerges at the end of the piece: women are not a protected species for which study special laws and create special spaces. Women must live and to be able to impose themselves in the same society of their male colleagues, breaking that wall of fake security and dependency that keeps them marginalized for centuries.

Punto e Linea Blog, 5 December 2007

Stage space

The preferable situation is on stage.
Scenic space should have a depth of at least 5 metri, and a width of at least 6 metmeters
Required the black square.

The space must be protected from the noise for the delicacy of the work on the text, and from light sources for the presence of a few moments of total darkness.

Power lights 12 double channel scene
11 PC 1.000 w (with flags, 4 with port jelly)
3 CP60 PAR 1.000 w
2 low stands for lateral cutting
1 standing low for front PC
Extension cords
Light load 12 Kw

Radio microphone (supplied to the company)
Cd Player, mixer audio
speakers with the power required for space used

Video projector (supplied to the company)
Mounting and dismounting

Aid for loading and unloading (about 30 minutes);
n. 1 help for editing scene (about an hour)
Technicians for installation and pointing lights, sound installation

Locandina "La Regina dei banditi"