Dario Fo, the Nobel Prize-winning Italian playwright and actor, is known for his satirical and political theatre that challenges the status quo and exposes the hypocrisy and corruption of the powerful. One of his most popular works is Faut Pas Payer (Don't Pay! Don't Pay!), a comedy that depicts the struggles and protests of the working class in Italy in the 1970s.
The play tells the story of Antonia, a housewife who joins a group of women who loot a supermarket after a price hike. She hides the stolen goods under her coat, pretending to be pregnant, and tries to avoid being caught by her husband Giovanni, a factory worker who is loyal to the law. Meanwhile, their friends Margherita and Luigi face similar dilemmas as they cope with unemployment, inflation, and repression. The play is full of hilarious situations, absurd misunderstandings, and witty dialogues that reveal the contradictions and injustices of the capitalist system.
Faut Pas Payer was first performed in 1974 in Milan, and has since been translated and adapted into many languages and contexts. It has been staged in France, Germany, Spain, England, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and many other countries. The play has also been updated by Fo himself in 2007, to reflect the current economic and social crisis. The new version is titled Sotto paga! Non si paga! (Underpaid! Don't Pay! Don't Pay!), and features new characters and scenes that address issues such as immigration, globalization, and environmental degradation.
Faut Pas Payer is not only a comedy, but also a manifesto of resistance and solidarity. It shows how ordinary people can fight back against oppression and exploitation with humor, creativity, and courage. It also celebrates the role of women as leaders and agents of change in their communities. As Fo said in his Nobel lecture: \"A theatre that makes people laugh is a theatre that makes people think.\"
The play also criticizes the role of the media, the police, and the politicians in manipulating and deceiving the public. For example, in one scene, a TV reporter interviews Antonia and Giovanni, who pretend to be a wealthy couple who support the government. They lie about their situation and praise the economic policies that have caused their misery. In another scene, a policeman disguises himself as a priest and tries to convince the women to confess their crimes and return the stolen goods. He is exposed by Antonia, who recognizes him by his shoes.
The play ends with a hopeful message of hope and solidarity. The women decide to share their loot with their neighbors, who are also suffering from poverty and hunger. They also join forces with other workers and activists who are organizing a general strike to demand better wages and conditions. The play ends with a song that invites the audience to join the struggle: \"Don't pay! Don't pay! Don't pay! The people united will never be defeated!\" 0efd9a6b88