A theatrical retelling of Gogol’s famous story of the two Ivans squabbling over a trifling insult, The Two Friends transposes the action to the village of Newington Green on the outskirts of London in the year 1722, when Daniel Defoe was a resident of the parish, the South Sea Bubble had recently burst and a terrible gin epidemic was about to break out.
Peppered with memorable lines, populated by an unforgettable cast of characters and written by multi-award-winning duo Peter Benson and Alessandro Gallenzi, The Two Friends is about the triumph of hilarity in a “dreary old world”.
Alessandro Gallenzi is the founder of Alma Books and the successor of John Calder at the helm of Calder Publications. As well as being a literary publisher with twenty years of experience, he is a prize-winning translator, a poet, a playwright and a novelist. He edited John Keats’s Complete Poems for Alma in 2019 and he has recently published a translation of Keats’s Letters (La valle dell’anima) with Adelphi.
Peter Benson’s first novel, The Levels, won the Guardian Fiction Prize. This was followed by A Lesser Dependency, winner of the Encore Award, and The Other Occupant, which was awarded the Somerset Maugham Award. Peter Benson has also published short stories, volumes of poetry and screenplays, some adapted for TV and radio. His works have been translated into many languages.
Read an interview with Peter Benson here