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#PlayBack: "Questo buio feroce" by Pippo Delbono




QUESTO BUIO FEROCE (This Fierce Darkness)
conceived and directed by Pippo Delbono


Pippo Delbono // Questo buio feroce (2006) from Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione on Vimeo.


Questo buio feroce, written and directed by Pippo Delbono in 2006, is the show that fearlessly faces
the taboo of the Death, hurling the audience into a white set, pure and unreal, created by Claude
In this white box, being at the same time an aseptic background, as well as an hospital
waiting room or a catwalk for a disturbing fashion show, some black figures are standing still, as if
they were portraits coming out of a funeral cortege, patients waiting for their call, masks and ladies,
symbols of a dying Venice, in a parade.
The music gives rhythm to the paintings appearing on stage, apparently as fragmentary as life,
composed by each single moment and becoming time after time a general drawing.
The stage is the place where all these characters meet: two harlequins rubbing
their noses with affection, a skeleton-like Sinatra singing My way with desperation and irony,
asserting his love for life, despite everything. The pictorial atmosphere of the images, standing
before the strong white background, represents a constant flow that sometimes stops, creating an
emptiness in which a girl with a mic reads the sex ads in a newspaper, in which an Italian/American
woman describes unlikely pictures of a happy family. In this degraded universe, where normality is
generated by advertising and soap-operas, black angels, obscure demons and the two harlequins
playing hide and seek seem to be the only drop of truth and reality, even when they evoke with
sweet grace the supreme hiding place, the death.

Black and white, life and death, dance and immobility, music and silence, heaven and hell are the
positive poles on which Delbono builds up this tormented travel that, engulfing into the theme of death,
legitimates and lights life.
What Delbono brings on stage without fear is the pain of human beings, slamming in the audience’s
face the concatenation cause-effect between their own wellbeing and the poverty of others:
“Millions of people are dying just to make you feel free and happy… Isolated in your apartments
provide with an air conditioner, you are free and happy”, states an amplified and distorted voice.
Delbono and his colourful company, in which the faces tell us about life and the bodies are skeleton-
like or full of energy, are able to speak directly to the heart and to the blood of the people, not just
to their brains, telling us about life with no need of words.

With: Dolly Albertin, Gianluca Ballarè, Bobò, Pippo Delbono, Ilaria Distante, Claudio Gasparotto,
Simone Goggiano, Mario Intruglio, Nelson Lariccia, Julia Morawietz, Gianni Parenti, Pepe Robledo

Set designer Claude Santerre / Light designer Robert John Resteghini / technical manager Fabio Sajiz
/ Sound Angelo Colonna / Wardrobe Carla Taddei / Machinist Andrea Colò, Orlando Bolognesi
Set and costumes realized in the workshops of Theatre de la Place - Liège
Production Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, Teatro di Roma, Festival delle Colline Torinesi,
Théâtre de la Place di Liege, Théâtre du Rond Point- Paris, TNT Théâtre National de Toulouse Midi –
Pyrénées, Maison de la Culture d’Amiens, Le Merlan Scène Nationale de Marseille, Le Fanal Scène
Nationale de Saint Nazaire.
1h 50 minutes without intermission


Pippo Delbono, author, actor, and director, was born in Varazze in 1959. He begins training in traditional theatre, then, in Denmark, he studies the principles of oriental theatre, through a rigorous work on body and voice. Later, in Germany, he’s invited by Pina Bausch to follow her work.
At the beginning of the 1980s he founded Pippo Delbono Company, creating most of his works with this group, from Il tempo degli assassini (1987) to Vangelo (2015). He does not stage plays but, rather, total creations, devised with a stable group of actors whose number has grown through the years.
The encounter with socially rejected people determines a turning point in his poetical research: that’s how Barboni (1997) was born. Some of these actors – among them Bobò, deaf-mute, who had been kept in an asylum in Aversa, near Naples, for forty-five years – have kept working with the company and are still a central part of this experience. The works that followed – La rabbia dedicated to Pasolini, Guerra, Esodo, Gente di plastica, Urlo, Il silenzio, Questo buio feroce, La menzogna, Racconti di giugno, Orchidee – like the ones before- have been performed worldwide in more than fifty countries, in theatres and festivals, including Festival d’Avignon (where almost all of the company’s creations were presented), Barcelona’s Grec, Theater Spektakel in Zurich, Venice Biennale, Wienerfestwochen in Wien etc. Several theatres, including Théâtre du Rond-Point in Paris, have shown retrospectives of his work and co-produced his creations in the past years and every year present the new works of the company. Enrico V – his only creation based on an existing play – is the only Italian production of Shakespeare that has ever been invited to perform at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Pippo Delbono has also been investigating the language of film for many years now. In 2003, following a tour in Israel and Palestine, he shot Guerra, presented at the Venice International Film Festival and winner of the David di Donatello award as best documentary. His second film, Grido (2006), has been shown at the Rome International Film Festival and won the award as best interpretation for Delbono and Bobò at cinema Festival of Reel in Lecce.
In 2009 he directs La paura filmed entirely with a cellular phone, transferred to film by Bologna Cinematheque and presented in the official selection at the 2009 Locarno Film Festival, alongside a retrospective of his work, including film versions of Il silenzio and Questo buio feroce. In June 2013 his film Amore carne, (grand prize at the Nyon Film Festival, in Switzerland in 2011), was distributed in Italy and France, after a preview at the 68th Venice International Film Festival in 2011, in the section Orizzonti. It has been reviewed by Le Monde between the best films of the year 2011. His short film Blu Sofa, co-directed with Lara Fremder and Giuseppe Baresi, was awarded the grand prize at the Clermont Ferrand festival.
Sangue was the only Italian movie presented at the 66th Festival of Locarno in August 2013, where it won the International Federation of Film Societies award, at Lisboa Doc Festival where it won the Honorable Mention and at the Zagreb Film Festival where it won the Grand Prize of the audience. The short film La Visite with Michael Lonsdale and Bobò, completely shot in Versailles for the Ministry of French Culture, has been presented at the International Days of Films on Art at Louvre (Paris) in 2016 and won the most important awards at Cinema Festival of Reel in Lisboa and in Rio de Janeiro.
The Rochelle Festival has dedicated in 2014 an homage to his cinema showing all his films and Wroclaw, European Capital of Culture for 2016, has presented the same retrospective in July 2016.
As an actor, he appears in Io sono l’amore by Luca Guadagnino, Io e te by Bernardo Bertolucci, Goltzius and the Pelican Company by Peter Greenaway, Henri by Yolande Moreau, Un Chateau en Italie by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Henri by Yolande Moreau, Pulce non c’è by Giuseppe Bonito, Transeurope hotel by Luigi Cinque, Cha Cha Cha by Marco Risi, Più bui di mezzanotte by Sebastiano Riso, Gli Uraniani by Gianni Gatti, United Passions by Frédéric Auburtin, Le ombre della sera by Valentina Esposito, La casa delle stati lontane by Shirel Amitay and others. For Teatro Sperimentale of Spoleto, he directed the opera Studio per obra maestra (2007), for Théâtre Wielski in Poznan (Poland) Don Giovanni (2014) and for the Teatro San Carlo of Naples, Cavalleria rusticana (2012) and Madama Butterfly (2014).
In 2011 he devised Rosso Bordeaux, presented at Place de la Comédie in Bordeaux as part of Evento, a festival directed by Michelangelo Pistoletto with the choir and the orchestra of the city and films projected on the walls of the palace on the square. In the same year, Residenztheater in Munich calls him as a guest director: Erpressung (blackmail) is the first creation with actors that are not part of his company. It premiered in Munich on January 14, 2012 and has become part of the theatre’s repertory.
With the violinist Alexander Balanescu he conceives the concert Amore carne, with the Italian singer Petra Magoni and the musician Ilaria Fantin Il Sangue, on Oedipus by Sofocle, with the singer from Naples Enzo Avitabile the concert Bestemmia d’amore, and La notte with texts from Francois and Bernard-Marie Koltès and François Koltès and with the guitarist PieroCorso.
He published Barboni – Pippo Delbono’s Theatre with Ubulibri. For Actes Sud editions he published Mon Theatre (published in Romania with the title “Teatrul Meu”), Récits de Juin and Regards. For the editor Les Solitaires Intempestifs Le Corps de L’Acteur; for Punto Aparte El teatro de la rabia; for Garzanti Racconti di giugno and for Barbès Corpi senza menzogna and Dopo la battaglia – poetical/ political writings; for Edizioni Clichy Sangue. Dialogo tra un artista buddista e un ex terrorista tornato in libertà and L’uomo caduto sulla terra; a lot of books have been written and published by other authors on his theatrical and cinematographic experience. He regularly publishes articles in different newspapers such as Liberazione and L’Humanité and magazines, such as Il Venerdì di Repubblica. He has been awarded, among other prizes, the special Ubu prize for Barboni, the Critic’s Prize for Guerra, the Olympic Prizes for Theatrical Innovation for Gente di plastica and Urlo, and in Wroclaw, Poland, in 2009, he received the Europe Prize New Theatrical Realities. The performance Dopo la battaglia, with the participation of the violinist Alexander Balanescu and the Paris Opera Étoile Marie-Agnès Gillot, won the 2011 Ubu prize as best play.
His creation Orchids premiered in May 2013 at Luciano Pavarotti Theatre in Modena as part of the 9th edition of VIE Festival and it’s still on tour in Italy and abroad. He presented at Maison Rouge in Paris, an important contemporary art gallery, his exposition Ma mère et les autres that will be presented at Beaubourg Centre Pompidou together with all his films.



Date: Da Monday, July 06, 2020 a Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Entrance : Free