The allure of a female voice sounds so beguiling to the ears of the young King that it makes him fall in love. But, rather than to a beautiful young girl, the voice belongs to an ugly old woman, sharing a shabby and decrepit home with her equally shrivelled-up sister. Thus starts «La Scortecata», the multi-layered tenth fairy tale of the first day of Giambattista Basile’s collection «Lo cunto de li cunti» («The Fairy Tale of Fairy Tales»), which is a «pentamerone» a collection of 50 fairy tales which, according to Neapolitan tradition, are to be told over the course of five days. The great Sicilian director Emma Dante used this tale as the starting point for her production. The title originates from Neapolitan dialect meaning «The Flayed», alluding to the fate of the ugly old woman who doesn’t fare well at all.
Emma Dante, whose COMPAGNIA SUD COSTA OCCIDENTALE has featured at almost all large international festivals, cast two male actors in the play’s only roles. The two old women are portrayed by Italian theatre stars Salvatore D’Onofrio and Carmine Maringola. Emma Dante stages the light-hearted, wickedly evil performance in the style of a modern Commedia dell’arte – and in old Neapolitan dialect – creating great actor-based theatre that is both moving and spectacular, questions appearances and ironically inverts our understanding of beauty, age, love and desire. Already celebrated in Italy and France, KUNSTFEST WEIMAR presents this production as a German premiere.