Naked (Vestire gli ignudi) was written in 1922 and belongs to a very successful period of Pirandello's dramatic writing. The heroine of Naked, Ersilia Drei (Juliette Binoche), is exploited by four men in turn: the novelist Ludovico Nota, the reporter Alfredo Cantavalle, her ex-fiance the naval lieutenant Franco Laspiga, and her ex-employer and lover The Consul Grotti, who in each re-enter her life in the opposite order to the one in which they made their first appearance. In spite of being the victim, Ersilia has disrupted the lives of her tormentors, and in the end it is she, like so many of Pirandello's women, who remains in our minds as more powerful than her male antagonists.
This play shares many themes with Pirandello's other major works; We encounter the multifaceted nature of human personality: Ersilia is seen in a different light by those who come into contact with her, but more than that, each one of them has a variety of responses to her, depending on what aspect of her life she is revealing. Notable for her change in attitude is the landlady Onoria who, first encountering Ersilia as a woman brought home by the lodger Nota, treats her as a slut, only to become all sympathy when she discovers that the newcomer is the unfortunate victim in the newspaper article, finally to turn against her again when her affair with her employer is revealed.
Naked marked Juliette Binoche’s London stage debut and was critically acclaimed by the London press.
Oliver Ford Davies
Listen to Juliette Binoche's performance in Naked
Juliette Binoche talks about Naked (FR)