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Simone Perinelli

Simone Perinelli
Simone Perinelli
Photo by Antonio Barrella
Simone Perinelli
Simone Perinelli

A dimly lit stage, scenery reduced to the barest essentials, the monologue of an actor who looks as though he's just left the house to buy cigarettes, putting on a pair of shorts and the first t-shirt he found in the cupboard. Never mind that there's an audience watching: the theatrical world of Simone Perinelli is intentionally constructed with sobriety. It is a theatre of subtraction, that, by removal and reduction, manages to exploit the language of the body and the dramatic effects of the word. It is perhaps for that reason that this Roman actor-director's first major project, the Trilogia dell'Essere, which he wrote, directed and starred in, was born out of a failure: the failure to stage Camus's Caligula. After two years of working on it between 2010 and 2012, Perinelli abandoned the show and decided to revisit three key existentialist characters of classic Western literature: Collodi's puppet (Requiem for Pinocchio), Homer's Ulysses (Macaron) and Cervantes' Don Quixote (Luna Park).

This is where Perinelli's strength lies: working on the ancient and making it modern in a theatre reduced to its absolute basics, where the only concessions to costume are minor disguises that make his ordinary-man look seem even more alienating: a dancer's skirt, a blonde wig, masks of a donkey or a pig. It's no coincidence that Perinelli is based in the small village of Calcata, in the province of Viterbo, where he established his theatre company Leviedelfool (The Ways of the Fool): a place where the archaic and the contemporary coexist in a strange mixture of art, nature, architecture and rays of light which turn the landscape into a huge, alienating set.

“I do not hesitate” said Carmelo Bene: Perinelli has sensed the tragedy inherent in this statement and made it his own. Perhaps he too doesn't exist, but his theatre, his voice, his gestures, and the crazed eyes that represent the true centre of gravity of all his performances, most certainly do.

The story has been written by Giorgio Nisini, writer.

 

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