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The Open Couple is a romantic play which was written by Dario Fo together with his wife Franca Rame, who later acted in the adapted TV drama. It was written in 1983.In this farce about sexual politics in marriage, a man persuades his suicidal wife that an open marriage is politically correct and embarks on dalliances with younger women, to her dismay and fury. After deciding to be on her own, the tables are turned when she confesses to a new man, Nobel prize nominated professor and inspired singer-songwriter; it is the husband who becomes suicidal. In real life we are always accustomed to the so-called “model couples” and we might believe that loving someone means sweetness and love for the whole life. However, uncertainty lies in everything. This is a true story of a married life, a vivid portrayal of an unhappy marriage, presented in a special artistic way.
The Open Couple talks with the audience directly and indirectly, triggering all sorts of reflections. It depicts a true life story of a couple, exploring whether an open relationship is really what keeps love fresh from a realistic perspective. Although director Li Minyuan has adapted more than 50% of the script, he still keeps the original structure to show “respect for the artist and respect for the audience”.
Dario Fo’s rights broker flew specifically from Italy to Shanghai to watch the first round of The Open Couple at Shanghai Drama Arts Center • D6. The adaptation of the show in the current context makes Dario Bofu’s broker certain that the play explores the core desire of human nature, thus will never be out of date.
By Dario fo
Directed by Li Minyuan
Starring by Wang Zichuan, Jin Ye
as Her Husband
as His Wife
First version photos credit: Yin Xuefeng
Second version photos credit: Yin Xuefeng