Il cilindro & Don Raffaele il trombone (2000)

Directed by Bruno Napolitano and Luciano Pinto


Il cilindro

Rita……….Manuela di Nola
Rodolfo……….Bruno Napolitano
Agostino……….Rino Pellone
Bettina……….Claudia Vecchio
Attilio……….Luciano Pinto
Antonio……….Giovanni Conte
Roberto ……….Peppino Tizzano
Michele……….Nick Cappa
Arturo……….Rocco Loiacono
Uomini e donne del vicolo……….Anna Monsello, Rosa Tizzano, Gina Berti, Mariolina Civiletti, Bill Vocisano, Nicoletta Ciampini, Andrea Basile et al.

Il cilindro is a one-act play performed for the first time in 1966. Main theme: how to get by in an uncaring and biased world. The difficult lives of these four characters are clearly illustrated: Agostino and Bettina, Rodolfo and Rita are two couples who have to rough it in a basement “flat”. Plagued by chronic unemployment and a non-existent welfare state, they resort to a piece of trickery in order to pay the accumulating rent on their miserable abode. Rita pretends to be a prostitute, attracting passing clients into their flat, only to obtain money from them but denying them what they paid for with the pretext that her husband has just passed away. In fact, his body is still “warm”, so to speak, and is lying in state in the very alcove the unsuspecting men hoped to enter. Given the superstitious nature of the Neapolitans, the “clients” run for cover when they see the “body” of Rodolfo stretched out on the bed, and so the fraud is perpetuated. Should the cheated “clients” attempt a counter-offensive, Agostino is ready “in the wings” with top-hat and overbearing demeanour to chase out any recalcitrant men. Don Roberto, a man of the world, protests that Rita is asking too much, and indignantly turns her down. An older man Attilio Samueli, comes next into Rita’s “parlour” but he soon smells a rat, and expects to receive what he has paid for. Agostino’s theatrics don’t work this time, and in any case Attilio is determined to obtain Rita’s services by offering a large amount of money, which excites the others. Rodolfo weakens, as he is now willing to “offer” his wife for the large sum deposited on the table by the old man, who in the meantime has fallen asleep on the bed while waiting for them to make up their minds.  The rest of the action is left to Agostino who resorts to another piece of stage-business to create a believable illusion for the old man, and this gets them out of trouble this time also. However, Rita’s unease at this deception soon turns to disgust when she realises that the others, including her husband, are prepared to exploit her, and so brings their degrading play to an end by walking out.


Don Raffaele il trombone

Raffaele Chianese……….Rino Pellone
Amalia, sua moglie……….Michelle Valdrighi
Lisa, figlia di Raffaele e Amalia……….Patricia Mesiti
Nicola Belfiore……….Nick Cappa
Alberto Fioretti……….Giuseppe Fulgaro
Luigi……….Rocco Loiacono
Attilio……….Peppino Tizzano
Compare Giovanni……….Carlo Picchetti

One-act play performed for the first time in 1931. The main theme revolves around a conglomerate of things: poverty, hunger, bad luck and madness. Raffaele Chianese has a reputation as an “evil-eye” and for years he has struggled to support his family, refusing any ob that did not meet with his high self-opinion as master musician and composer. Raffaele is preparing to go to play at a wedding, and is amazed that people should still wish to get married when times are so hard. He moans for the world’s neglect of his genius as a composer and swears never to give up his music. A fellow-musician, Nicola Belfiore, arrives desolate and cross: the bridegroom just died! Nicola wants to break off their partnership, adding that the young bridegroom dropped dead upon hearing Raffaele’s name mentioned, just as the sausage-seller’s cat did when Raffaele decided to pat it a few days ago. Compare Giovanni arrives with an offer of an unflattering job for Raffaele which he is forced to accept. Suddenly, things start to look up when a stranger walks in, claiming to be Alfredo Fioretti, concert pianist. He is looking for an accompanist for a tour abroad, and asks Raffaele to go with him, offering money on the spot as an advance. Raffaele jumps at this chance. When his Compare Giovanni returns to collect him, as agreed, Raffaele promptly sends him packing now that lady luck is finally smiling at him. However, the end of the story is as usual disappointing and humiliating for Raffaele, the eternal victim of fate!