The Info List - Filumena

Filumena Marturano is a play written in 1946 by Italian playwright and philosopher Eduardo De Filippo. It is the basis for the 1950 Spanish language Argentine musical film Filomena Marturano.


1 Plot 2 Productions 3 Film adaptations 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links

Plot[edit] The curtain opens on Domenico Soriano, 50, a wealthy Neapolitan shop-keeper who is raging against Filumena, 48, a former prostitute. They lived together for 26 years as husband and wife (but with him frequently having trysts with other women) and she has tricked him, pretending to be near death, and convincing him to marry her in extremis. Domenico, however, would rather marry Diana, a young girl, who is already in the house pretending to be a nurse. Filumena reveals the real reason for the marriage to Domenico: she wants to create a family for her three children (Umberto, Michele and Riccardo) who have no idea of who their mother really is. Domenico is not going to allow this and asks his lawyer, Nocella, to annul the marriage. Filumena speaks to the young men telling them that she is their mother. Filumena accepts the defeat of the annulment, but tells Domenico that one of the three children is actually his. All attempts to find out who his son is fail, and Domenico, after 10 months remarries Filumena accepting to be the father of all three. In the play Filumena memorably tells Domenico that "Children are children, and they're all equal" (I figli sono figli e sono tutti uguali). Productions[edit]

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Filumena Marturano was initially written as a tribute to Eduardo's sister, Titina De Filippo, a famous Neapolitan theatrical actress, who took the title role in the first production in Naples
in 1946. The play followed on from the success of Napoli milionaria, which Eduardo had written and which had premiered the year before to general acclaim. The first night of the new play, proved a disappointment however, and received lukewarm notices from the Neapolitan theatre-going public. Titina decided to address this by following her own instincts and performing as she felt the role required. She was proved right. The play achieved great success, so great in fact that for many years afterwards Titina was called in public in Italy by her character's name, Filumena, rather than her own. Thanks to an arrangement made by Carlo Trabucco, the editor of the daily Italian Christian Democrat newspaper Il Popolo, an audience was arranged for the cast to meet Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
in a private audience in the Vatican. At the audience, the Pope unexpectedly asked to hear one of the monologues, and Titina recited for him the prayer of Filumena to the Madonna of the Roses. Despite the strong connection between Titina De Filippo
Titina De Filippo
and the role in the mind of the Italian public, another actress, Regina Bianchi, was also able to achieve cult status as Filumena in subsequent years. In 1977 an English language translation by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall undertook a production at the Lyric Theatre in London directed by Franco Zeffirelli
Franco Zeffirelli
starring Colin Blakely
Colin Blakely
and Joan Plowright. This won The London Theatres Comedy
of the year award in 1978. The production was then taken to New York City where it opened on 10 February 1980 at the St. James Theatre
St. James Theatre
on Broadway where it ran for 32 performances. Prior to the New York transfer it had a run in Baltimore where it was directed by Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(Husband of Joan Plowright) The play was performed at the Piccadilly Theatre, London, opening on 30 September 1998 and running until 27 February 1999. It was directed by Peter Hall with Dame Judi Dench
Judi Dench
in the title role. Michael Pennington played Domenico. Film adaptations[edit] In 1950 Eduardo De Filippo
Eduardo De Filippo
directed Filomena Marturano, the film of the play, in which he starred as Domenico alongside his sister Titina. They also co-starred in the 1951 Italian film, Filumina Marturano]], again directed by De Filippo, although Ms. De Filippo received no screen credit.* He also made a tv version in 1962, in which Regina Bianchi played the title role. Another screen version was directed by Vittorio De Sica
Vittorio De Sica
and it was renamed Matrimonio all'italiana (Marriage Italian-Style), and starred Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren
and Marcello Mastroianni. In 2010 Italian tv, RAI
Uno made a miniseries starring Massimo Ranieri.

1951 Italian version available on YouTube.


Further reading[edit]

De Filippo, Eduardo (1947). Filumena Marturano. Commedia in tre atti (in Italian) (First ed.). Torino. OCLC 14236630. 

External links[edit]

Filumena at the Internet Broadway Database The Best House in Naples
(1956) at the Internet Broadway Database Filumena (1980) at the Internet Broadway Database The Theatre of Eduardo De Filippo

v t e

Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Award for Best New Comedy

Donkeys' Years (1976) Privates on Parade (1977) Filumena (1978) Middle-Age Spread
Middle-Age Spread
(1979) Educating Rita
Educating Rita
(1980) Steaming (1981) Noises Off
Noises Off
(1982) Daisy Pulls It Off
Daisy Pulls It Off
(1983) Up 'n' Under (1984) A Chorus of Disapproval (1985) When We Are Married
When We Are Married
(1986) Three Men on a Horse
Three Men on a Horse
(1987) Shirley Valentine
Shirley Valentine
(1988) Single Spies
Single Spies
(1989/1990) Out of Order (1991) La Bête
La Bête
(1992) The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
(1993) Hysteria (1994) My Night with Reg
My Night with Reg
(1995) Mojo (1996) 'Art' (1997) Popcorn (1998) Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick
Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick
(1999) The Memory of Water
The Memory of Water
(2000) Stones in His Pockets (2001) The Play What I Wrote
The Play What I Wrote
(2002) The Lieutenant of Inishmore
The Lieutenant of Inishmore
(2003) Heroes (2006) The 39 Steps (2007) Rafta, Rafta... (2008) God of Carnage
God of Carnage
(2009) The Priory (2010) Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense
Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense
(2014) The Play That Goes Wrong
The Play That Goes Wrong
(2015) Nell Gwynn (2016) Our Ladies of Perpetual Su