Roberto Bacci, photo Simone Rocchi

Roberto Bacci



Each man is a small soul that carries a dead body.

What happens to the kingdom of our everyday life when we, the king, abandon it? What becomes of the kingdom of our certainties when the castle we have been building and defending for many years crumbles at our feet?

King Lear is a complex play that is difficult to bring to the stage, and yet, just like Hamlet, it is one of the great plays that have become synonymous with theatre. Lear illuminates the part of human nature (individual and collective alike) that awakens us and confronts us with what we really are: beings who are fragile and dangerous, but still able to recognise our own condition.

Lear, who abdicates in favour of his daughters, suffers a downfall that first plunges the old man into a mental breakdown and then enables him to rise, with the fragility of a child, to a new beginning that at the same time marks the end of his life. Lear is the story of the king’s sick soul that becomes lost in the history of the world it created, a world of injustices, wars and betrayals.

Lear is the story of the king’s sick soul that becomes lost in the world of injustices, wars, betrayals. Lear is a character that we embody whenever we entrust our lives to the fragile, ambitious and dangerous lives of others whilst lacking a real awareness of ourselves… And so, naked and helpless, we face the storm of our history and that of others.
Roberto Bacci

  • Teatro della Toscana
  • Director ― Roberto Bacci
  • Text ― Roberto Bacci, Stefano Geraci inspired by William Shakespeare’s King Lear
  • Performers ― Maria Bacci Pasello, Michele Cipriani, Savino Paparella, Silvia Pasello, Francesco Puleo, Caterina Simonelli, Tazio Torrini, Silvia Tufano
  • Assistant director ― Francesco Puleo
  • Set and costume designer ― Márcio Medina
  • Costumes ― Fondazione Cerratelli in collaboration with Il Laboratorio di Costumi and Scene del Teatro della Pergola
  • Set design ― Scenartek in collaboration with Chiara Occhini
  • Original music ― Ares Tavolazzi
  • Music consultant ― Emanuele Le Pera, Elias Nardi
  • Historical music consultant ― Stefano Pogelli
  • Recording studio ― S.A.M. di Mirco Mencacci
  • Lighting ― Valeria Foti, Stefano Franzoni
  • Staging ― Leonardo Bonechi
  • Dresser ― Benedetta Orsoli
  • Dresser assistant ― Cinzia Sodi
  • Production curators ― Angela Colucci, Eleonora Fiori
  • Partner ― Italian Ministry of Culture
  • Premiere ― 1 April 2016


  • Bacci [...] has Lear played by an actress to strip away the character’s gender connotations and show Lear as just human; and Silvia Pasello is excellent at bringing out Lear’s vulnerability and visionary imagination hidden behind a mask of extreme toughness.

    Anna Bandettini | La Repubblica

  • The stark, pithy and lucid message of the mise-en-scène enriches the complex context of unhealthy family emotions which can have ruthless consequences. [...] All this plays out against a bare-bones set consisting of seven darkly coloured papier-mâché-like curtains which are moved around the stage, defining the different perspectives for particular settings: the creative transformations that open and close scenes of intimate conversations and duels, sudden intrusions and contemplative monologues.

    Giuseppe Distefano |

  • This wasn’t King Lear of Shakespeare proportions. Far from it. Perhaps we could call it a poetic allusion. Maybe a haiku, because of its essentiality. [...] A simple and peaceful ritual, secular no doubt – a theatrical celebration.

    Andrea Porcheddu |

  • Bacci’s Lear is ritualistic: there are neutral masks, the actors that put in motion the stage machinery, sing and verbally duel with one another. [...] His direction gives rise to questions that involve actors and spectators alike. What happens when we take off our masks and abandon our social roles? The final scene is very powerful – the sound of singing is heard from the distance: it may be coming from the afterworld, or perhaps it is an echo of Grotowski’s lessons.

    Roberto Incerti |


Date and hour

21 October
22 October


Running time

120 minutes