DON’T YOU DARE! 2019/20

Written, Directed & Performed by Chiara D’Anna

Scenography by Jelmer Tuinstra

Costumes by Natasa Stamatari

Don’t You Dare! is a high-energy political satire that combines Storytelling, Physical Theatre and a contemporary reinterpretation of the Masks of Commedia dell’Arte to expose the witch hunts of our present time.

It’s 1601: a famous actress accused of mesmerising her audiences, stands trial for witchcraft. As the trial unfolds, the people turn against her hypnotised by fear and propaganda. In drawing parallels between the violent oppression of the Inquisition and the hate speech of contemporary politics, Don’t You Dare! invites us to reflect on the witch hunts of our present times. Focussing on the demonisation and repression of women, the piece weaves a narrative across centuries of attacks on women, the arts and freedom of expression.

A theatrical tour-de-force, Don’t You Dare! is an outrageously funny and deeply moving one-woman show. With gallows humour and Panta Rei Theatre’s unique mix of physical theatre, surreal comedy and storytelling: expect laughter, tears and unforgettable characters.

Victoria at the trial

Vittoria at the trial

The persecution of witches in the 1600s offered us an opportunity to talk about the dangerous repercussions of divisive and aggressive propaganda. We live in a world poisoned by the ‘politics of fear’ where ‘any delusion can be instilled’. ‘If one can isolate the masses, allow no free thinking…and can hypnotise the group daily with noises, with press, radio and television and with fear, people will begin to accept the most primitive and inappropriate acts.’ These are the words of a Jewish psychoanalyst, Joost Meerloo, who fled the Netherlands in 1942. Sadly, his words could be no more relevant today.