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L’amica geniale in Inghilterra: il caso dell’adattamento radio di Timberlake Wertenbaker


This paper takes into consideration Timberlake Wertenbaker's adaptation of Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend (2016) for the radio. In particular, the focus of the paper is on the first of the four radioplays and on the dramatic strategies used and adaptation choices made by Wertenbaker. We shall focus on the use of two main adult voices (Lena and Lila), the use of the voice over, and the representation of time. The chapter also considers the image of "neapolitanity" offered in the radioplay, the reception with the British audience with respect to the meridionist idea of Southern Italy as poor and violent. I aim to show how, with some exceptions, Wertenbaker somehow manages to push beyond the common representation of the South of Italy and its women, leaving room to the core of the story, the complex friendship of the two young protagonists and their relationships to their families, and the territory, in a social and political context which they try to understand as they grow up (especially Lila).