Pupo di zucchero

La festa dei morti

Touring production
©Ivan Nocera

Blending a fable from Lo cunto de li cunti by Giambattista Basile with an ancient Southern tradition, Emma Dante creates her Pupo di zucchero; the sweet to offer to the dead who come to visit the living during the night of 2 November. A celebration of death, and of life.

Piccolo Teatro Studio Melato

2 November is the day of the dead. A “‘nzenziglio e spetacchiato” – wrinkled and threadbare – old man alone in an empty house, prepares a traditional treat to celebrate. He uses water, flour, and sugar to shape a hook “pe li pesci de lo cielo” – for the fish in the sky; a brightly painted anthropomorphic statuette in sugar. While he waits for the dough to rise, he recalls his dead family. The house fills with memories and life; mammina, an old woman with a “trembling heart”, his father lost at sea when he was young, his sisters Rosa, Primula and Viola, “three sweethearts who loved the spring”, Pedro, passionately in love with Viola, zio Antonio and zia Rita “who were constantly fighting”, and Pasqualino, his adopted son.
Following La scortecata – staged at the Teatro Grassi in April 2019 – Emma Dante returns to take on Lo cunto de li cunti. It is a fable by Giambattista Basile, from which the director draws her inspiration to present an ancient Southern Italian tradition with her latest play; in a number of areas in the South, on 2 November feasts are prepared, full of sweets and biscuits, in exchange for gifts that dead relatives bring from the afterlife to give to the children. During the evening’s ritual, the idea was that eating the sweets was like feeding on the souls of the dead. It is a moment that, as in Pupo di zucchero, becomes a celebration of death and of life.

Duration: 60’ without interval

The Playbill

Pupo di zucchero
La festa dei morti
loosely based on Lo cunto de li cunti by Giambattista Basile
text, direction and costumes by Emma Dante
with Carmine Maringola (the Old Man), Nancy Trabona (Rosa), Maria Sgro (Viola), Federica Greco (Primula), Sandro Maria Campagna (Pedro), Giuseppe Lino (Papà), Stephanie Taillandier (Mammina), Tiebeu Marc-Henry Brissy Ghadout (Pasqualino), Martina Caracappa (zia Rita), Valter Sarzi Sartori (zio Antonio)
sculptures Cesare Inzerillo
lighting Cristian Zucaro
costume assistant Italia Carroccio
production assistant Daniela Gusmano
coordination and distribution Aldo Miguel Grompone, Rome 
a Sud Costa Occidentale production
in co-production with Teatro di Napoli - Teatro Nazionale, Châteauvallon-Liberté scène nationale / ExtraPôle Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur / Teatro Biondo di Palermo / La Criée Théâtre National de Marseille / Festival d’Avignon / anthéa antipolis théâtre d’Antibes / Carnezzeria
and with the support of Funding for integration for young theatrical artists from DRAC PACA and the Southern Region

Category of performance Hosted Shows
Stalls full price € 33 | Discounted (under 26 and over 65) € 21
Balcony full price € 26 | Discounted (under 26 and over 65) € 18

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For information on tickets for organised groups:
tel. +39 02 72 333 216
email promozione.pubblico@piccoloteatromilano.it

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