|Zanni will appear absolutely ridiculous, with small eyes, black face and thick eyebrows, funny in every stance; so will be a stiff and awkward Pulcinella, with his rude attitude and his silly gestures.|
invaded by charlatans, and by a more refined type of comedians,
no longer mainly jugglers or acrobats, but true actors, who
plays in indoor
venues, for paying spectators.
In 1611 the
English traveller Coryate, referring to the most unusual memory
of his trip to Venice, writes: "I actually saw women on
Even though they often go
unnoticed, looking carefully, little self-contained scenes can
be seen in the background, inspired by everyday
street life; family squabbles, spats among common citizens,
scandals, jokes, mockery, all fill the backstage, making this
type of theatre a very realistic and accurate portrayal of daily
This genre of theatre, born in the close confines of smoky taverns, in the open spaces of markets and fairs, in the narrow streets inhabited by the humblest people, rose well above its popular roots and found its way into the hearts of all social classes, to become successfully accepted and equally welcome in aristocratic palaces and in market squares.