La Codista

Nederlands Theater Festival

La Codista



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La Codista

'Marleen Scholten is a gifted actress, and now also an award-winning playwright.' - Cultureel Persbureau

La Codista is a personal text about identity and the desire sometimes to go slower. Together with the audience, the codista waits for her turn. Maybe not every answer is immediately within reach.

Festival Nederlands Theater Festival

Run time 60 minutes
Genre Theatre
Language Dutch

La Codista

‘I don't want to be the first, I'd rather be the last. The faster the world goes, the more I slow down. I go against the flow. Like a salmon. For a codista, the world is the other way around.' Based on the story of Giovanni Cafaro, a Milanese who lost his job and started queuing for others in return for payment, Marleen Scholten wrote a new text about standing still. Standing still in the queue (la coda), for others in this case. In the queue she finds chaos and simplicity; people who come together in a place with only one goal: to wait until it is theirs.
For La Codista, Marleen Scholten of actor group Wunderbaum interviewed various residents of Italy about the meaning of standing still. She also stood in many long queues to experience the mechanism of waiting for herself. For the text, she won the national playwriting award Antonio Conti in Italy.

From the jury report

'The monologue La Codista by actor group Wunderbaum is a beautiful philosophical gem about our view of time and how we spend it. The performance is poignant and liberating, in the way in which Marleen Scholten's character has reconciled herself with her fate. Scholten raises a meaningful question: what should we do with superfluous time? La Codista shows that superfluous time is far from superfluous, moreover: it is perhaps a condition for meaning, creativity and relaxation.'



'Scholten's theatre solo La Codista is a philosophical treatise on waiting, full of reflections and accurate details. She consciously presents the text unadorned and without any embellishment. That is the beauty of it.'


'Despite all its austerity, La Codista is a very lively solo: this is due to Scholten's philosophical text full of striking observations and to her inimitable treatment of the text, with which she approaches the waiting as a score full of unexpected variations. Music in the monotone bureaucracy.'

De Volkskrant

'A monologue in a bare environment: a square with fluorescent light is the only decoration. So it comes down to the story and the way the actress tells it. Scholten does this exemplarily for an hour: with her beautiful, powerful voice, controlled mimicry and infectious charm, she portrays an unemployed woman who makes a virtue of necessity.'

De Groene Amsterdammer

'On her own, in La Codista, Wunderbaum actress Marleen Scholten shows us such a small person, defending herself and her existence.'


from and with Marleen Scholten
directing assistant Dafne Niglio
lighting Emanuele Cavalcanti
costume advice Lotte Goos
production Actors Group Wunderbaum and Associazione TRAK
co-production Theater Rotterdam, residency OTSE Officine Theatrikes Salento Ellada
in cooperation with Embassy and Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
with support of Centro di Residenza della Toscana, Kilowatt festival
thanks to Giovanni Cafaro, Paolo Aniello, Pietro Valenti, Paolo Mastromo, Bas Ernst, Umberto Angelini, Zona K-Milano, NTGent

About the NTF

The Netherlands Theatre Festival bursts into life again this autumn! After modest years, we open the doors wide with the best performances of the past theatre season. Discover a range of stories on stage, across generations and theatre genres, from the many corners of the Netherlands and Flanders. In addition to the ever-puzzling selections by the Netherlands Theatre Jury, The Flanders Theatre Festival and the BNG Bank Theatre Prize Jury, this year the nominees for the VSCD Mime Prize will also take the stage.

Read more about the NTF