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Can't Pay? Won't Pay!


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AT: We Can't Pay? We Won't Pay!; We Won't Pay? We Won't Pay! A: Dario Fo Pf: 1974, Milan Pb: 1974 Tr: 1978 G: Pol. com. in 2 acts; Italian prose S: Working-class suburb of Milan, 1970s C: 6m, 2fAntonia and Margherita, two working-class housewives, stagger in with goods that they have stolen from the supermarket as part of a protest by local women against rising prices. Antonia is terrified that her husband Giovanni, a Communist factory-worker, will force her to return her booty. He notices Margherita's bulging coat and is told that she is pregnant. He is dismayed that some workers refused to pay for the overpriced food in the canteen and warns Antonia not to take part in the supermarket protest. When the police search the flat, Margherita pretends to be in labour and is carried to an ambulance. Margherita's husband Luigi is surprised to learn that he is about to become a father and goes off in search of her. When a lorry overturns in the street, Giovanni and Luigi, who have just learned that they are losing their jobs, steal sacks of sugar. An Inspector, checking on the two women who have now returned home, believes he has been blinded for his disbelief when their electricity is cut off, bangs his head in the dark, and passes out. The women confess to the men that they have been stealing, and the men admit to their theft. When he recovers, the Inspector is so relieved that he can see that he leaves happy.

AT: We Can't Pay? We Won't Pay!; We Won't Pay? We Won't Pay! A: Dario Fo Pf: 1974, Milan Pb: 1974 Tr: 1978 G: Pol. com. in 2 acts; Italian prose S: Working-class suburb of Milan, 1970s C: 6m, 2f

In this fast-paced play, Fo employs traditional elements of farce to address political issues: the financial pressures of working-class life, unreasonable prices, the threat of unemployment, and unreformed and ignorant male views of women.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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