An Interview with Laura Pasetti



THE MUMBLE – Hi Laura – so can you tell me what ‘A Bench on the Road’ is all about, & what inspired you to create a play about it

LAURA – The play explore 100 years of Italian immigration in Scotland from the women’s perspective. Narrations, music and physical theatre give voice to many women that between 1850 and 1950 left Italy in search of a better future for their families.  The play is divided in frames as each scene is like a living painting, Italian and English languages intertwine creating an interesting mixture of sounds and expressions. I was inpired to create the play by the story of my first friend in Scotland when I arrived at the age of 15 to learn English. She was an Italian Scottish woman and she introduced me to the story of immigration as I wasn’t aware that so many Italians lived in Scotland.


THE MUMBLE – There seems to be an awful lot of research gone into Bench – where did you source you materials

LAURA – The play was commissioned by the Italo Scottish Research Cluster- University of Edinburgh. It because of their archive and the support of many academics like  Pedriali,  Pirozzi , Colpi and Ugolini that I was able to write the play.




THE MUMBLE – Bench is a multi-media presentation, can you go into more detail about we have to expect.

LAURA – The play has been framed in Kantor style where the images s are strong and express the core of the stories; the marriage of ancient Italian and Scottish folk songs support the presentation of each frame. The costumes are designed in the shade of grey and sepia, like an old photograph to give a clear “image from memory” to the spectator.


THE MUMBLE – You have seven actors playing the voices of the women. Who are these, & where are they from

LAURA – Vanda De Luca is Italian Scottish, Anna Carfora is Italian and lives in London, Nicoletta Maragno is from Italy. The three Scottish actresses are Scottish: Sian Mannifield, Helen Cuinn, Pamela Reid. The accordionist who is also doing actions on stage with the actresses and playing an important role is also Scottish: Caroline Hussey. I mus say there are an AMAZING cast. This is one of the main reason why I left Italy and founded an international company: to offer opportunities to actors of different nationalities to work together. I travel a lot myself when I was younger, in search of more opportunity to grow and improve as an actress. Actor are constantly under training and if they don’t understand this, they will be extremely unhappy. Researching is one of the main duty of an actor. I noticed that when I was working in Russia with German and Russian actors, we were very open, productive and the creative process unfolded easily. I wanted to do more of this kind of work and after my last trip to Russia I founded Charioteer Theatre.


THE MUMBLE – What is your personal background in theatre, Laura,& how did you come to be in Scotland

LAURA – I started as an actress in 1990 after the degree at Piccolo Teatro di Milano Acting School. The director was Giorgio Strehler.  I immediately started to tour internationally and I think that I was pretty successful in my acting career. I won the Milano 90 Award as best emerging actress then the Virginia Reiter Award  and then the Anna Magnani Award. I had the privilege to work with the best Italian directors and to have rewarding experiences abroad. I then became a writer, a director and an acting coach. I love teaching actors. I consider myself a real CAPOCOMICO, like in the tour companies of comedians in 1500, I lead my company artistically but I also drive the van on tour.


THE MUMBLE – So you are taking your play across Scotland – what do you hope that your prospective theatre-goers will get out of ‘A Bench on the Road’

LAURA – Possibly a new intake on a piece of Scottish and Italian history. I hope that they will perceive the play as a journey through which they can reflect on identity and sense of belonging.


B&W Image1 - photo credit Courtesy of the ISRC Archive -  Italo-Scottish Research Cluster.jpg
Platform, Glasgow
Thu 29 September, 7pm – with post-show discussion
£8.50 (£5/£4 local links)
0141 276 9696 /
CatStrand, Castle Douglas
Fri 30 September, 7.30pm – with post-show discussion
01644 420374 /
Post-show discussion
Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
Tue 4 October, 7.30pm
£12.50 (£10.50/£5.50)
Gaiety Theatre, Ayr
Wed 5 October, 7.30pm
£13.50 (£12.50)
01292 288 235/
Glasgow Women’s Library, Glasgow
Thu 6 October, 7pm
£10 (£6)
0141 550 2267 /
The Lowry, Salford Quays
Sat 8 October, 8pm
£12 (£10)
0843 208 6010 /
Paisley Arts Centre, Paisley
Tue 11 October, 7.30pm
£10 (£6) + booking fee
0300 300 1210 /
The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
Wed 12 October, 7pm
£13.20 (£5.50)
Byre Theatre, St Andrews
Fri 14 October, 7.30pm
£14 (£12-£8)
01334 475000 /
Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh
Sat 15 October, 7.30pm
£14 (£12)
 0131 623 3001 /

Posted on September 19, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. In una storia di migrazione passata presente e futura c’è sempre alla base la scontata ed ormai sdoganata ricerca di un miglioramento della propria qualità della vita. Ciò avviene tutti i giorni con modalità diverse per tutti noi.
    In questa raffigurazione, ove pare che le donne siano le protagoniste, mi auguro che emerga soprattutto la questione femminile con il suo percorso evolutivo all’interno della società.
    Che si racconti delle differenze tra ieri ed oggi dei bisogni e delle aspirazioni delle donne in un contesto più ampio ed approfondito.
    In sintesi, non solo la cronaca di un semplice fatto che deve essere solo di cornice, ma di come le donne sono state e sono determinanti ed indispensabili in ogni fenomeno della società senza prendersene il merito.
    Buon lavoro.
    Gaetano Coppola

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