Friday 3rd May, Tuesday 7th May and Thursday 9th May 1985
Directed by Jacquie Penrose
A Bench Fringe Theatre Production staged (free of charge) after 'Accidental Death of an Anarchist' on three nights of that play's run, alternating with 'Lunch Girls'. Janet Simpson gives a very moving portrayal of a poor simple woman whose blameless life is ended by political violence.
'The Execution of Miss Stefanini' was written in 1985 and inspired by a dry newspaper report giving verbatim extracts from Germana Stefanini's trial at the hands of terrorists.
It is the story of a humble prison worker who is lonely, frightened and uncomprehending while she is detained by Italian terrorists and is accused of being an agent of state oppression. It is based on real events that took place in that year and shows how women can get caught up in political forces and cannot cope because the forces are mightier than them. Even in a prosperous Western democracy, innocence and ignorance are no protection against persecution and terrorism. Miss Stefanini is the victim of political circumstances quite beyond her understanding or control and struggles to work out how someone as poor and innocent as herself could be guilty of being an "agent of state oppression".
This play was produced again in 1987, when Jane Hemsley-Brown reprised the role in a Bench touring production at Portsmouth Drama Centre as part of the 'Time and Tide' trilogy.
This play was staged at Havant Arts Centre, East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977. It was produced as part of 'Bench Fringe Theatre' - a free occasional performance of shorter or experimental works introduced by Bench Theatre at this time, to follow their regular staged productions. On 3 evenings, it followed the performance of 'Accidental Death of an Anarchist'.