This is a single performance of a multi-date event. Go to the full range of dates and times for this event.
The Popess: Instructions for Freedom is a dark-comedy solo show, inspired by a female-led 14th century Italian heresy centred around the belief that Guglielma of Bohemia was the second coming of the Holy Spirit. This alone was a stake-worthy conviction, but to make things worse, Guglielma appointed a nun, Maifreda of Pirovano, as her vicar on earth, her Popess. Furthermore, the two mystics announced a new era led by women, in which salvation would be granted to everyone: women as well as men, non christians and christians. After all, if women could be goddesses and popes, no one could be excluded from redemption anymore!
Through the journey of the character of Everywoman -a female version of a medieval Morality Play’s Everyman – in search for the Truth- the show explores the meaning of faith and freedom from the female perspective. A story of women who claimed their own right to a direct relationship with God (or the Goddess) without the mediation of men. Can God be experienced differently for men and women? How is that relevant today?
I am originally an actress and in 2018 I decided to write and produce my first play called CLARA: SEX, LOVE AND CLASSICAL MUSIC, finally combining together two of my greatest passions: theatre and music. The show was incredibly well received all over the world, and collected wonderful audience and professional reviews.
Press & Reviews 1- FEST MAGAZINE, 4 STARS
"Compelling, extraordinary, iconic: all could describe Clara Schumann in this telling of her story, as well as Mazzon’s performance here"
2- The Student Newspaper - 5 STARS
"I believe this is one of the best shows at this year’s Fringe, Mazzon’s undeniably outstanding musical talent showcased by her piano performances, created variety to Clara, and with the help of the Pianodrome, Mazzon successfully transported the audience into Clara’s world."
3- LIVE LONDON POST- 5 STARS
"Remarkable and elegant through and through, and when she is at the piano it is quite cinematic but best thing about it, it is not cinema, that’s why it’s so precious. A complete artistic endeavour."
4- LONDON THEATRE 1 - 4 STARS
"‘Utterly compelling...a gripping piece. Clara: sex, love and classical music tells this fascinating story with wit and passion, force and energy but above all with understanding and sympathy."
5- LONDON THEATRE REVIEWS - 4 STARS
"Superbly realised, evocatively written, and beautifully performed drama altogether. A triumph’"
6- hunter and blight -Perth Australia
"This is why the story of Clara ...is a play everyone needs to watch. If not for the discussion of these issues, then for a brilliant actress who takes you back in time."
Cast & Creative Team WRITER and PERFORMER: ELENA MAZZON
Elena Mazzon is a London-based Italian-British actress, writer and voice over artist. She has appeared in several stage and screen productions, including Circular (EdFringe), The Tempest (Steiner Theatre), Killing Eve (BBC), A Dice with five sides (feature), The Overcoat (Short). Elena’s first play, Clara: Sex, Love & Classical Music, was awarded an ACE Grant and toured successfully worldwide (UK, Germany, Italy, America and Australia), before landing at Edinburgh Fringe 2022 at the Award Winning Pianodrome.
DIRECTOR : COLIN WATKEYS
Colin Watkeys, founder and director of the Face to Face Festival of Solo Theatre, has been working with solo performers for the last thirty years, teaching at the Actors Centre and producing and directing all of the solo theatre work of Claire Dowie and the late great Ken Campbell.
Colin has been proudly part of the team from the very beginning, when Elena's first play, Clara, started taking shape in one of his solo theatre workshops.
Colin originally studied Philosophy in London and Japanese Theatre Music and Dance in Tokyo and ran the Finborough Cabaret from 1982 to 1988. He also worked at the Royal Court Theatre for the Young Writers Festival. Despite the loss of the Actors Centre, he continues to nurture future generations of solo performers, directing numerous highly praised productions at the Brighton, Camden and Edinburgh Fringes Colin is obsessed with new writing, writers who perform their own work and the creation of anything in which form serves content.