Wednesday, 2 July 2014


author: Pippo Delbono
theatre/ensemble: Compagnia Pippo Delbono

seen on 24th June in Wiesbaden during the  New Plays From Europe Festival

plot: Pippo Delbono is one of Italy’s most unusual theatre makers. “Orchids” may be his most profound and emotional work yet and has been presented internationally to great acclaim. Accompanied by a brilliant company, Delbono plays with the entire spectrum of theatrical resources. The play begins in death and dances, sings and plays itself back to life from the void. Full of spirit and love, “Orchids” paints a picture of our world: It’s garish, colourful, cruel and brutal – but it’s the only world we have. 

verdict: What a confusing night that was! There is text spoken off stage (in beautiful Italian I have to say...I love this language), there is music, lots of music. Music that I happen to adore like the violin concert by Philip Glass or "Child in time" by Deep Purple.
There are photos and video snippets. There are actors/dancers, some disabled some not. It all is supposed to say something about life, about Delbono´s mothers death. Sometimes they run around naked, sometimes they dance, sometimes they mime. It all is very personal, we get a glimpse of the life and soul of Delbono and when he runs around the stage and smiles like a child it feels rude to not like him.
But all in all it is just a confused collage with people randomly added, all pretending it is still the 70´s and we are all hippies. There are definite reminders of the works of Pina Bausch but they seem hollow and lack a certain something. Not bad but extremely weird.

The best moment for me happened during the final applause - one of the disabled actors takes a bow, looks into the audience and yawns. For me the most honest, heartfelt and undeliberately self-reflecting moment.

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