Roberta Calandra: Inspiration and Influences

On writing, John’s Last Dream Continue reading “Roberta Calandra: Inspiration and Influences”


Roberta Calandra


Roberta Calandra is a writer, author and playwright with an extensive body of work including: novels, stories, fairy tales, plays for theatre, film, TV and radio.

In 1995, she won the Quality Award of the Ministry of Culture with the script, Non con un bang (Not with a bang), which was presented at the Venice and Soho, New York, Film Festivals. In 2014, Calandra’s play Otto, about the Romantic poets Keats and Shelley, was performed in the round at the Tanners Theatre in Rome and her monologue, Anna Freud, un desiderio insaziabile di vacanze (Anna Freud, an insatiable desire for holidays) at the Pathological Theatre.

Calandra has also been a Carver Award finalist with L’eridita do Anna Freud (The Heritage of Anna Freud) and published,  Ryunio la bambino drago (Ryunio the baby dragon) a Buddhist novel for teenagers.

John’s Last Dream by Roberta Calandra

The heart of aristocratic Rome, beside the famous ‘Spanish Steps’, at the tortured deathbed of the English Romantic poet John Keats. A place that has inspired a new mini-play by Italian artist Roberta Calandra.

Roberta’s play interprets the relationships and final poetic vision of our most Romantic of ex-patriots and features key figures from the poet’s life: the women he loved, the younger poets whom he inspired, and the struggling 19th century Doctor who was unable to save him from illness.

Get tickets for the show.


26 Piazza di Spagna, the Keats-Shelley House

26 Piazza di Spagna, situated to the right of the Spanish Steps and overlooking Bernini’s fountain, was the final dwelling place of John Keats, one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets. The house has become a museum dedicated to him and his fellow poet and close friend, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Keats, who came to Rome for the warmer climate, instead lived what he described as a ‘posthumous existence’ for the brief five months he spent there. He hoped his stay in the illustrious city would save his life so that he could return to his beloved fiancée Fanny, but this was not to be, and tragically he died of tuberculosis at the age of 25.
The charming Centro Storico has attracted and inspired artists from all over the world, and become a place of pilgrimage for anyone interested in literary history. In addition to offering a glimpse into the last few months of Keats’ life, the museum is considered to have one of the finest reference libraries of Romantic literature in the world, as well as a unique collection of manuscripts, paintings and sculptures. However, the house is not only a museum; it holds many artistic and literary events, proving its cultural significance to Rome both in the past and the present.

The Keats-Shelley House (as it is now known) is the setting for a new play by Italian artist Roberta Calandra. Roberta’s script has been adapted for performance by GoodDog Theatre Company.