By Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione - The Pippo Delbono Company


  • Italian with Spanish subtitles
  • 80 minutes
  • General Audience

Advertencia one of the actors smokes a cigarette near the audience for two minutes.

The renowned and one-of-a-kind Italian creator returns to Chile with a play that journeys through pain, madness and death on its way to happiness.

La Gioia (Joy in English) is a show about that most beautiful, mysterious and short-lived of all feelings and a journey through the most extreme of all emotions: angst, pain, happiness and enthusiasm. A mixture of sounds, images, movement and dance merge with the magic of the circus, the colorfulness of the clowns and the melancholy of tango. It’s a mixture of multiple visions, hundreds of paper boats, bright material bags and even an explosion of flowers created by Delbono and Thierry Boutemy. All these are props for a simple, stripped-down, profound story and a journey that just flows. La Gioia has also acquired a different meaning since the death of one of its actors, Bobò, faithful companion of theater director Pippo Delbono since they met in 1995 at a psychiatric hospital in southern Italy, where Bobò - illiterate, deaf and mute - had spent the last 45 years of his life. For two decades, he was the star of, inspiration for and soul of Delbono’s shows. Right up to today, he’s still strongly felt and missed, both on and off stage.

Created and directed by: Pippo Delbono | Cast: Dolly Albertin, Gianluca Ballarè, Margherita Clemente, Pippo Delbono, Ilaria Distante, Simone Goggiano, Mario Intruglio, Gianni Parenti, Pepe Robledo, Grazia Spinella and the voice of Bobò | Floral arrangements: Thierry Boutemy | Music: Pippo Delbono, Antoine Bataille, Nicola Toscano and several other artists | Lighting designer: Orlando Bolognesi | Sound designer: Pietro Tirella | Costumes: Elena Giampaoli | Set and props: Gianluca Bolla | Production supervisor: Alessandra Vinanti | Organization: Silvia Cassanelli | Technical supervisor: Fabio Sajiz | Photographs: Luca del Pía | English version: Stefano Guizzi | Acknowledgements: Enrico Bagnoli, Jean Michel Ribes, Alessia Guiboni (Thierry Boutemy’s assistant) and the Théâtre de Liège for the costumes | Producers: Emilia Romagna Foundation Theater - National Theater | Coproduced by: the Théâtre de Liège and Le Manège Maubeuge (national scene).

“The pieces that make up this play create an intense feeling, like a ceremonial journey, not towards death or happiness but towards the hope of a resilient kind of happiness that’s in us all”.

—La Reppublica

La Gioia by Pippo Delbono is beautiful and impressive: finally, a moving, uplifting and interesting piece in which the first person to be touched, animated, moved and interested by it is its performer, author and director”.

—Il Fatto Quotidiano

“It’s time for hope in the flower-filled garden of Pippo Delbono”.

—Il Manifesto

Creator, actor, playwright and director Pippo Delbono is one of the main figures on the Italian stage. Described as “unique among Italian artists” by the La Reppublica newspaper, Delbono has been the precursor of a kind of theater whose great audiovisual content is the backdrop for intimate stories, normally based on personal experiences and performed by him and a special company made up at different times of deaf-mutes, youngsters with Downs Syndrome and homeless people. This is Delbono’s second time at Santiago a Mil, having presented Enrico V, his own version of the Shakespearean tragedy, in 2008.

Since its premiere in March 2018, La Gioia has received positive reviews, both for its emotional story - which aims to convey that joy doesn’t exist without pain or suffering - as well as for the onstage performances of Delbono and his troupe. The most touching moments occur when the voice of Bobò - Delbono’s partner who died in January this year and to whom the play is dedicated - is heard. “Bobò’s lifeforce can be felt in each word, each gesture on the stage: the same as when he was alive, but yet so different”, says Franco Cordelli, columnist for Corriere della Sera.

The production seamlessly incorporates different performing arts genres: theater, music, dance and even circus all come together in Delbono’s journey through the emotions. “To preserve joy, you don’t need to keep it in a jar, but rather make a pact with it: you need to decide that joy will be your path in life”, he says.

Thiérry Boutémy: He’s the Belgian floral artist responsible for the impressive garden of flowers seen in La Gioia, something highly symbolic, since Pippo Delbono has said that he included it in the play because flowers are like happiness: beautiful and short-lived. Boutémy is famous for being the florist for Lady Gaga’s shows and for working with Sofía Coppola on productions like Marie Antoinette.

—Commedia dell’arte: Born as a popular form of theater in sixteenth-century Italy, this style blends dramatics with acrobatics, masks and dances. It could be said that La Gioia has some of this genre.

La Gioia trailer on YouTube

—“It’s time to end bourgeois theater” – interview with Pippo Delbono in the Spanish El País newspaper.

La Gioia on social media

—On Instagram, @emiliaromagnateatro

—On Twitter, @ERT_Teatro

—On Facebook, ErtFondazione

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