Mamma Fricchetona (The Freak Mommy)

Franca Rame and Dario Fo, adapted by Estelle Parsons

This play is included in the collection:

Dario Fo: Winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature


A mother becomes a gypsy in order to pursue her son who has joined a commune.

Production Info

Cast: 1 total (1 female)
Short Drama (about 45 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“The pieces are comic, grotesque, on purpose. First of all because we women have been crying for two thousand years. So let’s laugh now, even at ourselves. And also because a certain gentleman of the theatre, who knew a lot, a certain Molière, used to say: When you go to the theatre and see a tragedy, you identify, empathise, cry, cry, cry, then go home and say, ‘What a good cry I had tonight,’ and you have a good night’s sleep. The social significance went by like water over glass. But for us to provoke you to laughter … you have to have a brain, you have to be alert … to laugh you throw open your mouth and also your brain and into your brain are hammered the nails of reason.” —Franca Rame

“Set at the point where reality and ideology rub up against each other, [these] monologues are vivid, concise and entertaining comments on the female condition … comic-but-angry, raw-but-precise.” —The Independent (London)

“… buoyant, angry and vitally funny monologues … the evening becomes a rich human comedy of the sexes. Even as the women rail against their male oppressors, they see the bigger picture — their own contradictions and absurdities, the social forces that grind down men and women alike, the whole messy business of living with the alien other gender.” —Steven Winn, S F Gate

“Subversive wit and theatrical extravagance.” —L A Weekly

“Funny and lusty.” —L A Times

About the Author


  • Franca Rame

    Born in Parabiago, Italy, in 1928, Franca Rame was an actress, playwright, and feminist, whose militant left-wing politics saw her elected to the Italian Senate. Her fifty-year collaboration with her husband, Nobel Prize – winner Dario Fo, included sharing in the writing and production (though she was not always credited) of many of Fo's plays. Fo, who called Rame his muse, dedicated his medal to her. She passed away in 2013.

  • Dario Fo

    Born in Sangiano, Italy, in 1926, Dario Fo is an Italian playwright, theater actor, and composer. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1997. The Nobel committee described him as a writer "who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden." His plays often depend on improvisation and utilize the Commedia dell'arte style. His most famous works are MISTERO BUFFO and ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST. He passed away in 2016.

  • Estelle Parsons

    Estelle Parsons is most widely known for her Academy Award – winning performance in Bonnie and Clyde and her ten years as Mother Bev on the hit sitcom Roseanne. In the theatre, she is known for her portrayal of the tyrannical eighth grade teacher in Roberto Athayde's classic about totalitarian power, MISS MARGARIDA'S WAY, which she performed on Broadway, all over the United States, and in London, Dublin, Turkey, and Australia. She has appeared in plays by the great writers of our time, including Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, Dario Fo, Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Paul Zindel, and Horton Foote. Estelle starred in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY by Tracy Letts on Broadway for a year and on the road for a year. Most recently she was seen in GOOD PEOPLE by David Lindsay-Abaire and the George and Ira Gershwin musical NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT with Matthew Broderick. In 2012, she was directed by Neil LaBute in Marco Calvani's THINGS OF THIS WORLD. As a director, she created the New York Shakespeare Festival Players for Joseph Papp in the 1980s. For two seasons, they performed Shakespeare on Broadway for New York City school students and their families in an effort to develop a multicultural audience for New York. She also directed Al Pacino in Oscar Wilde's SALOME: THE READING ON BROADWAY. Estelle Parsons is a member of the Actors Studio and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2004.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 11/1/1997
Pages 72
ISBN 9780881450286

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:
The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Mamma Fricchetona (The Freak Mommy) is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC