ASSOCIAZIONE CULTURALE TEATRO SEGRETO
Direzione Artistica RUGGERO CAPPUCCIO
SHAKESPEARE KING OF NAPLES
Composto e diretto da
Versione Inglese con
| Antonella Manzo
Festival BeneventoCittàSpettacolo diretto da Ruggero Cappuccio 2006
Perhaps theatre is the realm of the senses and Shakespeare its greatest architect. Perhaps the Stratford poet’s superlative theatre is the incontrovertible evidence for the existence of a kind of intelligence far removed from one based on analysis and deduction. In a flash of pure intuition it senses and consents to the obscure symphonies of the soul that lay hidden behind the words of Hamlet or Macbeth. Shakespeare’s lines are musical notes. His verse is an extraordinary symphonic elaboration that proceeds in large movements and which is interrupted by sudden arrests, syncopations and allegrettos. Both heart and guts unite with the seductive sound of magical scenes that sublimate themselves after unexpectedly creating the sound of the senses. These are re-echoed by the senses of the public, a public that finally has the opportunity of rediscovering the innate existence of a poetic rhythm within themselves, a rhythm in harmony with a type of theatre that not only presents itself as an expressive code that needs translating into signs, but as a musical score of sounds capable of excavating among human emotions and unearthing obscure interior relics.
The words of a play are meant to be heard, not read. Great dramatists compose by listening to the echo of the sounds that lie within themselves. Shakespeare listened and composed just like Mozart. Genius, love, beauty and death manifest themselves in his work like phantoms of the heart, capable of adding further mysteries to those that already exist. He offers no solution and has no cure for the wounded soul: the art of the Sonnets’ creator does not lead us to the understandable. Rather his words take us toward the extreme limit of our sensorial faculty in order to show us just how much space our imagination has reserved for the unknown and how much space our imagination dedicates to its own secrets.
In the ineluctable Platonic conflict between body and soul every piece of music demands its own instruments. Every sound is created as an immaterial entity that exists within a material world. Consequently each piece of theatrical writing demands its own language.
It is for this reason that the greatest dramatist of all time and a certain Basile, who Italo Calvino defined as a deformed Neapolitan Shakespeare, rendezvous one evening in a labyrinth of sounds and senses, a labyrinth where my curiosity has wandered for some time now. Two literatures, two languages, two wonderfully expressive architectures, Elizabethan English and Baroque Neapolitan that appear to have launched themselves into a challenge of sounds, like two mortally wounded Sirens who pursue each other through a profound labyrinth that echoes with infinite distortions and who lash out at each other with rarefied, visionary, earthly, ever higher, ever lower notes in an attempt at realising the impossible, until finally sinking into the slime of the plebeian earth. The notes produced by this clash were extremely refined and refinedly vulgar, at times harsh, tormenting and menacing.
Shakespeare’s baroque challenged, caressed and sank its teeth into the baroque of Basile. The stunning images of the great English theatre found a deformed, unfaithfully loyal mirror in the enervating languor of the ancient Neapolitan language. The hendecasyllables of the one hundred and fifty four sonnets that the great William dedicated to the mysterious inspirer of his art sucked lymph from the enervating languor contained within this wonderful language that for many centuries exercised an undisputed and capricious sovereignty over southern Italy.
Perhaps the music had finally found its instrument. One of the greatest mysteries in the history of literature bombarded the world with its most relentless question: who really was the nameless young man for whom Shakespeare wrote the monumental interior confession concealed behind the title of the sonnets?
This fictitious story took every short-cut in order to arrive at the truth, and demanded flashes of something that lies between the true and the false, between faith and reason. And it was from this fiction that Shakespeare-King of Naples was born. The improbable, the impossible and the imaginary governed a story which sees Shakespeare put ashore in Naples, the Vice regal give him his throne for a night and a young Neapolitan actor become Ophelia and Desdemona for the pen and stage of a poet consumedwith genius. The adventure was to last up to the outbreak of the Black Death, an event that was to shake the very foundations of London, up to when the putrefied stench of the Bay of Naples presaged impending death, up to the poetic spasm and the solemn incredulity that permeates everything-including the story and the words that form it, from that which is true and from that which is false, including the possibility that the falsified and the probable are absolute and separate entities.
Naples and London, Shakespeare and his young strolling player, the sea and the painful dream world all combine to weave an oneiric thread through a story that chooses fiction over reality and that looks upon the former as a privileged creature that dominates the latter.
This musical score, in which the alteration of the imaginative has sown its visions and caprices, has been given life by the flesh and blood of Claudio Di Palma and Ciro Damiano, who since 1994 have continually performed the play throughout the theatres of Italy