There’s no reaction that the theatre of Pippo Delbono doesn’t provoke in its audience. It moves you, cracks you up; it bludgeons you with its force, and shakes you with its fragile beauty. His hypnotic works are more akin to a kind of ritual than to straightforward performance, and the arrival of each new is always a major event on the theatre calendar.
So too with ‘Orchidées’, a deeply spiritual exploration of the sense of loss that his mother’s recent passing inspired in Delbono. As the Italian director told us back in June, the play is supposed to evoke the sense of ‘having lost certain precise things, the sense of theatre, of representation… You never know whether the orchid of the title is real or a lie.’ To this end, it draws on all manner of media and artistic traditions: theatre, dance, cinema, photography — all of which he weaves into an aesthetic cocktail that’s at once bombastic and calmly introspective. What a prospect.