My Brilliant Friend - Part 1

  • PART ONE of Elena Ferrante's epic family saga | Adapted for the stage by April De Angelis | Directed by Melly Still
  • Sat 25 Feb - Sun 02 Apr

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.

This modern family saga chronicles the lives of friends, Elena and Lila, following them from their childhoods in a poor, tough neighbourhood of Naples, through passionate love affairs, burgeoning careers and family struggles. But even as life repeatedly tries to pull the two in separate directions, Elena and Lila remain inextricably bound to one another.

A powerful story of love, violence, sex, ambition, genius and self-destruction, the two-part play is an exploration not just of female friendship and rivalry, but of Italy after the war and the decades of political turmoil and cultural change that followed.

Regarded as ‘one of the most exciting and compelling contemporary literary voices today’, Elena Ferrante was chosen this year as one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people on the planet. Very little, however, is known about the author who writes under a pseudonym - ‘Anonymity lets me concentrate exclusively on writing'. Her first novels were published in the early 1990s; the final book in the quartet, The Story of the Lost Child, was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize.

Celebrated for 'creating astonishingly potent' theatre, Melly Still has directed for the National Theatre (Coram Boy), the RSC (Cymbeline) and Glyndebourne, amongst others. April De Angelis has written for the Tricycle (After Electra), Royal Court (Jumpy) and the RSC to name just a few.

This stage adaptation condenses all four books (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, The Story of the Lost Child) into one play presented in two parts. Audiences will be able to see both parts in one day, or on separate days. Please click here for the full performance schedule.