★★★★ 'Intensity wins through... as if Ferrante has materialised in front of us' The Observer
★★★★ 'Triumphant staging' The Guardian
★★★★ 'Fleet, sleek adaptation...I left this still wanting more' The Telegraph
★★★★ 'As addictive as the books' Time Out
★★★★ 'An epic stage show that is...as addictive as the books' WhatsOnStage
★★★★★ 'Powerful and heart-breaking' LondonTheatre1
Elena Ferrante’s intense portrait of an all-consuming female friendship in post-war Italy is brought to life for the first time on the Rose stage. Starring Niamh Cusack and Catherine McCormack. See full cast and creative here.
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A powerful story of love, violence, sex, ambition, genius and self-destruction, Ferrante's epic saga chronicles the lives of childhood friends, Elena and Lila, from their youth in a poor, tough neighbourhood of 1950s Naples, through to adulthood.
Set against a backdrop of turbulent social and political change, their story spans six decades of significant upheaval in post-war Italy including the rise of the Camorra, the sexual revolution and the changing role of women at home and in the workplace. But even as life repeatedly tries to pull the two in separate directions, Elena and Lila remain inextricably bound to one another.
Published in over 50 countries, the novels have been hailed as some of the most exciting works of contemporary literature, with the last book in the series shortlisted for the 2016 International Man Booker Prize. Ferrante’s reputation is soaring; however, little is known about the identity of the author who writes under a pseudonym. “I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors” she wrote in a letter to her publishers, “If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they won’t.”
Celebrated for 'creating astonishingly potent' theatre, Melly Still has directed for the National Theatre, The Young Vic and Glyndebourne, amongst others. April De Angelis has written for the National Theatre, Royal Court and the RSC to name just a few.
PLEASE NOTE: this stage adaptation condenses Ferrante's four novels into one play presented in two parts (My Brilliant Friend and The Story of a New Name into Part 1; Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay and The Story of the Lost Child into Part 2).