How do you spell ratatouille? “Educating Rita” by Willy Russell

Going to see a production of “Blood Brothers” at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal last year brought me back to Willy Russell, whose plays I love but – sadly – didn’t form any part of my degree course. Today’s post is about what is probably his best known work – “Educating Rita”. Written in 1985, the play tells the story of just two characters – Rita and … Continue reading How do you spell ratatouille? “Educating Rita” by Willy Russell

Not Quite Scones, Not Quite Biscuits: Welsh Cakes! From Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood (1954)

I (Nico) have never been to Wales. So far, my only points of “contact” with Wales have been: Dylan Thomas a few Welsh people met in England (mainly students) the 1995 film The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain (which may or may not have been popular in Italy during my childhood because of a very young and very charming … Continue reading Not Quite Scones, Not Quite Biscuits: Welsh Cakes! From Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood (1954)

A Literary History of Chocolate: Part 2

Similarly to England, in the early eighteenth century Italy saw the arrival and diffusion of the tea, coffee and chocolate, and the latter two in particular become particularly popular, with the creation of ‘botteghe del caffè’ (coffee houses), where you could also taste the miraculous chocolate drink – attitudes towards it were of course mixed, with one physician (Dr Giovanni Batista Felici) at the Tuscan … Continue reading A Literary History of Chocolate: Part 2

The ‘bitten macaroon’: Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (1879)

In the world famous Norwegian play A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen has Nora, the protagonist, eat macaroons from the very first scene: Nora has just got back home from her Christmas shopping, and stealthily eats some macaroons — with this very small yet important action, the audience immediately understands that the macaroons hide more relevance than that they actually show. Our attention is drawn to … Continue reading The ‘bitten macaroon’: Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (1879)