Throughout July 2006 Roughcast Theatre Company performed Carlo Goldoni’s A Servant to Two Masters at a range of delightful venues. This fast-paced 18th century commedia tells of an underpaid, overstretched but wily Italian servant caught in a web of frustrated liaisons and switched identities. Lee Hall (who scripted the current West End musical hit “Billy Elliot”) has written the breezy, modern translation.
Carlo Goldoni (1707-93) was a prolific playwright who succeeded in creating a new school of comedy, based on more realistic characters and scenes in place of the traditional stereotypes. However, in this play he manages to balance his new approach with the retention of several of the stock commedia characters. This bubbling and ribald farce bridges the two forms and thus, indeed, Goldoni becomes the servant of two masters!