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Play Details


Duration Of The Play: 1 hr 40 mins


 Language play: Italian with English subtitles

The Play & Director's Note

I have chosen to give this title to my new theatre production ‘Joy’ - a word which scares me, which reminds me of some joyful family pictures, of joyful children, of joyful landscapes. All of them are dead, all of them are fake. I was very impressed by The death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy. In this novella the main character, in the last days of his life, reconciles with his whole existence including the saddest moments of his life.

I recall when I got into a venue in Manila which was located inside a garbage dump where a lot of human beings were living. It smelled awful, like sewer. Everywhere you could see rubbish, rats, birds, insects. I am reminded about those women washing their dresses, putting on perfumes, putting on make-up. And they were smiling to each other.

I also recall a place in India, many years ago, Varanasi: a city where Indians go to die. A big group of children came to me; they were jumping and laughing like crazy animals. Their feet were big, malformed and swollen like balloons. But their faces, their eyes were giving me a sense of truth, of lucidity, of vitality, of joy.

I saw and lived many things in these years, often forgotten, but I will always keep in mind those joyful eyes in the dump in Manila and along the Ganges Riverbank.

I am thinking about this new theatre production ‘Joy’ as a simple and essential story, as something connected with a possible way out of fighting, pain and darkness… I am thinking about deserts, prisons… about people escaping from those prisons… about flowers...


The Director & The Group

Pippo Delbono, author, actor, and director, was born in Varazze in 1959. He studied the principles of oriental theatre in Denmark, through a rigorous work on body and voice. Later, in Germany, he was invited by Pina Bausch to follow her work. In the beginning of the 1980s he founded the Compagnia Pippo Delbono, creating most of his works from Il tempo degli assassini (1987) to Vangelo (2016). The works have been performed worldwide in more than fifty countries, in theatres and festivals, including the Festival d’Avignon (where almost all of the company’s creations were presented), Barcelona’s Grec, Theater Spektakel in Zurich, the Venice Biennale, etc. Several theatres, including the Théâtre du Rond-Point in Paris, have shown retrospectives of his work and co-produced his creations in the past years.

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. Sangue, his latest film, was the only Italian movie presented at the 66th Festival of Locarno in August 2013, where it won the International Federation of Film Societies prize; 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. A short film La visite with Michael Lonsdale and Bobò, completely shot in Versailles for the Ministry of French Culture, will be presented at the International Days of Films on Art at Louvre (Paris). 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.


Cast & Credits

Performers                              : Dolly Albertin, Gianluca Ballarè, Bobò, Margherita Clemente, Pippo Delbono, Ilaria Distante, Simone Goggiano, Mario Intruglio,, Gianni Parenti, Pepe Robledo, Grazia Spinella


Floreal composition                : Thierry Boutemy

Music by                                 : Pippo Delbono, Antoine Bataille and various artists

Lights                                      : Orlando Bolognesi

Sound                                     : Pietro Tirella

Costumes                                : Elena Giampaoli

Head machinist and Props       : Enrico Zucchelli

Production manager                :Alessandra Vinanti

Organization                           :Silvia Cassanelli

Technical manager                  : Robert John Resteghini

Production                              : Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione

Co-Production                         : Théâtre De Liège, Le Manège Maubeuge - Scène Nationale

Thanks to                                : Enrico Bagnoli, Jean Michel Ribes, Thierry Boutemy’s assitant Alessia Guidoboni and Théâtre de Liège for the costumes.

Photos                                     : Luca Del Pia

Concept & Direction             : Pippo Delbono

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