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Pippo Delbono

The author, director, actor and dancer Pippo Delbono is one of Italy’s most unconventional and distinctive theatre artists.  His theatrical studies began in a traditional school which he left when he met the Argentine actor Pepe Robledo, who had escaped from the dictatorship in his country. In the Eighties Delbono left for Denmark, where he became a member of the Farfa troupe, headed by Iben Nagel Rasmussen. Here he got to know the techniques of eastern dance, a training that would be developed in subsequent trips to India, China and Bali. In 1985 he began working on his first performance, Il tempo degli assassini, in which he defined the personal theatrical language that characterizes all his works. Then Pippo Delbono met Pina Bausch and took part in one of her Tanztheater creations. In 1992 in Enrico V from Shakespeare, his only work inspired by a theatrical text, he played the role of the king who, with his subjects dressed as punks, accepts the challenge of the impossible. La rabbia, an hommage to Pier Paolo Pasolini presented in 1995, shows the beginnings of a theatre technique that was to be completely realized in Barboni, winner of a special Ubu prize in 1997 “for a research carried out at the intersection of art and life” and of the critics’ prize in 1998. Among other works, he created Guerra and then Esodo, where the staging is very similar to a cubist composition. In these performances Delbono continued his personal and artistic explorations with his company, bringing into it people from different worlds. Bobò, for example, is a deaf mute whom Delbono met in a mental hospital in Aversa, Nelson is one of the homeless, Fadel is an asylum seeker from the Sahara. In July 2000 he first presented in Gibellina in Sicily Il Silenzio, a piece about the earthquake of 1968, set on the white rubble that covered the destroyed city. In 2002 Gente di Plastica was first performed at Teatro delle Passioni in Modena. This piece portrays an exuberant world intertwined with the force of the rock music of Frank Zappa and the poetic testament of Sarah Kane. Urlo started off at the Avignon Festival in July 2004 with guest appearances from Umberto Orsini and Giovanna Marini alongside the actors of the company,. Then followed the production Questo Buio Feroce, inspired by Harold Brodkey’s The Wild Darkness. In 2007 he created Obra Maestra, his first encounter with lyric theatre, produced by the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale of Spoleto. In the same year he also created his biographical monologue Tales of June. In 2008 Delbono created his latest theatre piece La Menzogna. which will be presented at the Montreal, Grec and Avignon Festivals and at the Rond-Point in Paris. Several books have been issued in different languages about his theatre work. In the last 5 years Pippo Delbono has also directed two films: War (first Donatello David Prize as “best documentary film”) and Grido, which opened at the Festival Internazionale di Roma of 2007. He is now working on his third film, La Paura, a study of contemporary Italy.