Don’t You Dare!is a critically acclaimed multi-award winning show that combines Storytelling, Physical Theatre, Political Satire and a contemporary reinterpretation of the Masks of Commedia dell’Arte.
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.
Here our audience responses:
BEST SHOW | BEST ACTRESS | BEST DIRECTOR | AUDIENCE AWARD
Concorso Teatrale Internazionale “Città di Chivasso” 2019
Don’t You Dare! is a history play set in the commedia dell’arte tradition and revolving around an actress condemned as a witch, yet contemporary in its references to a divided, xenophobic Europe and the dangers of patriarchy and dogmatism. [...] Written, directed and performed by Chiara D’Anna, the show is buoyed by her abundant charisma and a glinty-eyed archness. She switches between characters with camp exuberance and funny asides. (Arifa Akbar)
Don’t You Dare! uses the commedia dell’arte tradition to explore how the historical anti-woman propaganda of the Catholic church is part of a continuum with instances of contemporary anti-feminist backlash. Different century, the same shit. [...]It’s witty and playful and D’Anna is a delight, ad-libbing with glee and slipping into different characters with ease…A performer with charisma to spare. (Natasha Tripney)
Charismatic and enthralling, D’Anna is a chameleon and builds her characters thoroughly and unequivocally through changes in her physicality and voice, displaying exquisite acting skills. [...]By picturing old imaginary enemies, portraying illogical fears, and putting the crowd in front of the absurdity and nonsense of the criminal actions of past politicians, Don’t You Dare! candidly presents the chilling dangers our not-too-distant future holds. (Cindy Marcolina)
Boundless energy gives way to some utterly beautiful, heart-wrenching performances and a striking balance between Italian and English dialogue extract from the piece every possible ounce of wonderful authenticity. [...] Energetic role-playing have the audience in stitches, the actress interacting and educating as she explores the political repression of women. (Ezelle Alblas)
D’Anna is nothing short of phenomenal. A naturally funny and enigmatic performer. [...] Her charisma is what makes the show and what makes Don’t You Dare! the highlight of a great evening of physical theatre, comedy and satire in this worthwhile and poignant festival! (Peter Dunmar)
D’Anna performs with irresistible energy, carrying the audience with her. [...] On the one hand, Don’t You Dare! is an exploration of commedia characters given a modern twist; on the other, a scream at past and still surviving treatment of women—its satire sharp and very funny. (Howard Loxton)
Witch Hunts in the 21st century? It might seem absurd, however, the persecution of witches in the 1600s provides a platform to talk about the dangerous repercussions of contemporary propaganda and its culture of fear.
We live in a world poisoned by aggressive and divisive politic 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.
Between the 16th and the 17th century anti-women propaganda reached its peak with the persecution of ‘witches’. As Mandrou pointed out, ‘the witch-hunt was the first persecution in Europe that made use of multimedia propaganda to generate a mass psychosis among the population’. An astonishing “achievement” considering that they did not have Facebook!
Award-winning stage and film actress, best known for her work with writer and director Peter Strickland on the films The Duke of Burgundy and Berberian Sound Studio. She is the Artistic Director at Panta Rei Theatre and a leading practitioner on Commedia dell’Arte.
Graduated from the Theatre School in Amsterdam, Jelmer took an internship as a design technician with the international Dutch company Dogtroep. He gained further experience as a light designer with Theatre Company Suburbia, and as a sound and light designer for the opera, The Flying Dutchman. After his BA, Jelmer attended the Master Advanced Theatre Practice – Scenography at the Central School for Speech and Drama. Since then, he has worked as a light designer and scenographer for several Dutch and English theatre companies.
London based set and costume designer working in theatre, dance, film, editorial and event. Natasa has an ongoing working relationship with companies such as Bottlefed (with whom won the Jury Prize of ‘Best Performance’ with Hold Me Until You Break at 100 Grad Festival, Berlin) and Raw Matterial. Her latest works include La Strada at the National Theatre of Greece.