Elena Ferrante’s ‘My Brilliant Friend’ Goes From Page to Stage
LONDON — A day after a New York Review of Books article about the possible real identity of the best-selling author known as Elena Ferrante, the Rose Theater Kingston here announced Monday that it would present the first stage adaptation of the four novels that have made Ms. Ferrante an international literary name.
The play, which is to begin previews on Feb. 25, is called “My Brilliant Friend” — the title of the first book in the series, which traces the lives of two Neapolitan women from childhood in the 1950s, through subsequent decades of marriage, motherhood and careers.
Like “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” another literary phenomenon-turned-theatrical-event, the play will be divided into two parts, which audiences can watch on one day or on separate occasions. The books, which also include “The Story of a New Name” (2013), “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay” (2014), and “The Story of the Lost Child” (2015), will be adapted by April de Angelis. The play will be directed by Melly Still, with casting to be announced.
Press materials did not specify whether Ms. Ferrante would be involved. In February the Italian film and television production company Wildsideannounced that it would adapt each of the four novels into an eight-episode season, without specifying when production would begin.
Ms. Ferrante’s identity, kept scrupulously secret by her publishers, has been the subject of intense curiosity and scrutiny since her books became an international sensation after “My Brilliant Friend” was published in English in 2012.
In the New York Review of Books article Claudio Gatti, an investigative journalist, wrote that financial records he examined “make a powerful case” that the Italian translator Anita Raja is the author of the Neapolitan novels.