Peciocco Project – Orbetello 2013/2014


The project, sponsored and supported by Municipality of Orbetello and SAT (NGO, UNESCO consultant for the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage– Safeguarding of Traditions), arises from the encounter between “Compagnia Teatrale Oratorà” and stage director Mario Gallo, founder of “Teatro ricerche”, an association internationally involved in educational and promotional theatre projects aimed at spreading the cultural heritage represented by Commedia dell’Arte. Specifically, the production arises from the fortunate encounter between the director and Brunelda Danesi’s text, already staged in the past by “Compagnia Oratorà”, but now revisited, in fact, from the point of view of Commedia dell’Arte, thanks to a workshop on the techniques connected to the use of mask. So, the play, inspired by the local legend about the fisherman Peciocco and the seven witches (five in this version) who every Friday night secretly take his boat and fly to the Holy Land, becomes part of the great Italian theatre tradition repertoire, with its “codified” characters, representative of a cultural, social and historical context. Brunelda Danesi’s play, a versified fable containing the crucial device of the splitting of characters – story within the story and “play within the play” – appears to be particularly suitable to this sort of “experiment”. The few versions of Peciocco legend we know tell about a young fisherman from Orbetello who, together with seven witches and hidden from them in his own boat, flies to the Holy Land to enjoy there a fabulous party. Once back home, Peciocco will show himself ambling along Orbetello’s main street wearing a pepper-tree twig on his hat. The author of this pièce asked herself: why a party just in the Holy Land? And what came up to my mind was Purim Feast, which, as you know, belongs to the Jewry and was established in honour of the admirable king of Persia’s young Jewish wife: queen Esther, who bravely saved her people from the slaughter ordered by a wicked minister of the king. As to the pepper-tree twig, Peciocco parades it around along the Corso in Orbetello, in order to boast about his mysterious adventure in far-away lands, where pepper trees grow, and also in order to blackmail the witches. Before starting the show, the author and the hero thank the magnificent audience and… through Peciocco himself, confess their ambition:

As in Florence they chose Stenterello, so I’m going to be the “character” of Orbetello

Brunelda Danesi

On stage February 22 2014, h. 21.15, Auditorium Comunale – Orbetello.

Vedi anche Peciocco – Archivio delle Tradizioni Popolari della Maremma