Thursday, 17 January 2002

Luigi Pirandello: The Rules of the Game (1919)

Translation: Robert Rietty, 1959
Edition: Penguin, 1969
Review number: 1043

The Rules of the Game revolves around three characters: Silia, her lover Guido, and her seemingly complaisant husband Leone. The arrival of a group of drunk young men at Silia's flat when she is entertaining Guido and the insults they offer her thinking she is a prostitue provide the catalyst for the play when Leone (who was not there at the time) insists on playing the role of the outraged husband and challenging the leader of the young men to a duel.

The Rules of the Game comes before Pirandello's big success with Six Characters in Search of an Author and isn't as focused on the philosophical question of part playing as some of his later plays. It has some of the elements of farce, and should be extremely funny on stage, and it is thus successful on its own terms.

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