Vittorio Gasmann’s Grande Teatro on TV on 15 September on Rai 5

Advances for the Great Theater of Vittorio Gasmann on TV on 15 September at 4 pm on Rai 5: “Il Mattatore – Episode 7” – Today Thursday 15 September on Rai 5 at 4 pm for the Great Theater of Vittorio Gasmann on TV, the seventh episode of “Il Mattatore“ is on air.

In this episode, Gassman sarcastically tackles the issue of journalism: first he plays the role of a war correspondent, who dictates an article to his secretary by telephone pretending to be on the battlefield, while he is comfortably in a hotel in good company.

Massimo Girotti then plays a crime journalist, who makes a show of news to attract the attention of readers. Paolo Ferrari, unscrupulous editor-in-chief, in order to fill the news page, summons Gassman as a murder suspect, acquitted for lack of evidence.

The performer, in the role of theatrical critic, writes a review of the show just seen, constantly changing the judgment on the actors according to his own advantage.

The Showman was a TV show with Vittorio Gasmann broadcast by RAI in the 1959 on the then National Program (later Rai 1). Divided into ten thematic episodes divided into two short cycles of five episodes[1]was aired on Wednesday evenings from February 4 to April 22.

It was one of the first broadcasts of the RAI, which had started programming a few years ago.

Defined as a “mixed show” for the variety of genres and registers used, Il mattatore allowed Gassman to express an ironic, sulphurous and parodic talent. The same year it became the homonymous film directed by Dino Risi.

The Showman of the title was the actor Vittorio Gassman – ironic histrion – accompanied by actors, of theatrical training, Marina Bonfigli, Paolo Ferrari, Carlo Romano and Enrico Viarisio.

There television direction was of Daniele D’Anza. The sets of the episodes were signed by different set designers: Mario Chiari, Giulio Coltellacci, Pierluigi Pizzi, Piero Zuffi, Lucio Lucentini, Gianni Polidori, Veniero Colasanti, Cesarini from Senigallia. The costumes were of Danilo Donati and the choreography from Gisa Geert.

The music was by Fiorenzo Carpi And Piero Umiliani. Some were also drawn from the program record albums of the Fonit Cetra with excerpts of numbers mostly recited by Gassman.[2] The theme song of the transmission – the song Matadoron a text by Gassman and music by Umiliani, read among other things:

“Matador, toreador and a hundred names again, dictator, emperor, director and first actor, director, commendator and great conqueror …”

The texts of the sketch in which the episodes were divided were signed by Gassman and the playwright Federico Zardi. They also contributed to two episodes Guido Rocca And Indro Montanelli.[1]

According to theEncyclopedia of Television[1], “The impossibility of classifying the program in a specific genre has pushed RAI to define this valuable production as a ‘mixed show’, a fluid coexistence of a plurality of genres and registers”.

We can therefore consider this program – always according to theEncyclopedia – a kind of forerunner of the tv containers and a unicum television (experience in some ways unrepeatable, even if then Beppe Grillo And Roberto Benigniamong others, will try to follow the same path).

The texts were presented through a mixture of styles, between variety and the theater classic, with rejects and improvisations exasperated up to parody and such as to sometimes displace the viewer.

References to the politics (always filtered by the prudence that government censorship and RAI imposed) and to the themes of the costume of that period (the end of fifties and the approach of economic boom) are even more present in the second cycle of five episodes, broadcast around April 1959. Targets of the satire they were in particular the protagonists of the world of politics, of journalismof the cinema. As a true ‘matador’, “Gassman […] with the exuberance of his gigionesque performances […] he plays with himself and his prey (sure dominator of both) before finishing them “.

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External photo:


the showman

Vittorio Gasmann’s Grande Teatro on TV on 15 September on Rai 5