Le Guarattelle di Pulcinella

“Guarattella” is an old Neapolitan word which translates as: “an initially very simple situation that evolves into a very confusing one”. The word is still used in Naples to indicate when people clumsily succumb to an otherwise mundane situation.

In theatres however, the “guarattelle” are the traditional Neapolitan Puppetry shows. Some of the stories are based on old canvases, dating back to the 1600s. In these stories, Pulcinella meets, and often fights, typical characters from folk theatre: the wicked man, the fierce dog, the executioner, the Grim Reaper... The conflict that develops from these meetings is always funny, irreverent, cathartic, and moves forward with an unstoppable rhythm.

These stories have been passed down through the centuries and Gianluca has been performing them for more that fifteen years with his little Puppetry Theatre.

Pulcinella is a well known character but one may not be familiar with his voice when performed in a puppetry show. A magic and powerful voice, similar to the quack of a duck and that is handed down with an old and mysterious technique from teacher to pupil.

“Le Guarattelle di Pulcinella” is a fast paced and entertaining show.

It is suitable for an audience from 4 to 100+ years old, works also as a relief against worries and has no side effects. Do not miss it...

Suitable for 4 year and older audiences


85. Souls in Purgatory

Written, Directed and Performed by Gianluca Di Matteo

For many centuries, Neapolitans have associated people, objects and events (real or dreamt) to numbers. This association process is still used today and the numbers are used to play in the local lottery.

The number 85 is associated with the Souls of Purgatory. These suffering and abandoned souls populate the catacombs and communal graves under the ground on which Naples is built. They are still objects of reverence, although they are not recognised by the official religion.

In this show, Pulcinella accompanies his audience in an evocative, ironic and exoteric journey that becomes a reflection on the eternal cycle of life and death. With the cathartic laughter of the puppets and set against the impending outbreak of the Plague which hit Naples in 1656, a secret will be revealed, one of the many “Pulcinella’s secrets”, which are, in fact, well known to all.

In this new play that brings together the Devil and Death, the ghosts who watch over our dreams and the prayers inhabiting Naples subsoil, Pulcinella, as usual, will struggle, fight, laugh, run away, die... and be born again!

Come on Pulcinella! Wake up... wake up... WAKE UP!

For 10 year and older audiences