Pulcinella Principe per due ore - Adriano Ferrajolo (Adriano Ferraiolo, aka Adriano Ferrajolo)

Pulcinella Principe per due ore

Adriano Ferrajolo (Adriano Ferraiolo, aka Adriano Ferrajolo) | 2012 | Salerno, Italy
Pulcinella, Mastro Raffaele, Pulcinelluccio, Principe di Casadoro, Cavaliere Buonobono, Vincenzo, Cameriera
Number of acts

Pulcinella Principe per due ore (Pulcinella, Prince for Two Hours) is a cut-down and adapted version of the play Miseria e nobiltà (Misery and Nobility), written by Eduardo Scarpetta (1854-1925) in 1887. A first cut-down version of this play was staged by Francesco Ferrajolo, Adriano’s father, and his brothers Salvatore, Michele and Enzo, in 1936. This new version by Adriano Ferraiolo (the orthography changes according to the members of the family) was recorded in 2012 and transcribed by Mariachiara Rano in her Master's thesis (Laurea Specialistica) in Philology, Linguistics and Literary Traditions, defended in 2021
at the Università degli Studi "G. D'Annunzio", Chieti-Pescara: L'esperienza artistica del maestro burattinaio Adriano Ferraiolo.

The cut-down version for glove puppets is distinct from the original for actors in that the protagonist is not Felice Sciosciammocca, the character made famous by Scarpetta, but Pulcinella. This new version reprises the comic actor Totò's unforgettable interpretation which gave Felice his own character, closer to that of Pulcinella, in the 1954 film adaptation by Mario Mattoli. In Adriano Ferraiolo’s cut-down version, several scenes and characters have been removed, dialogues have been attributed to other characters and the elements of the original play are linked differently. There are also references to Totò's performance, such as the scene in which the two protagonists climb onto the table and fill their pockets with pasta (a scene that was placed at a different point in the plot in the movie).

Plot summary

Two poor men pass themselves off as two noblemen

One rainy day, Pulcinella is waiting for his friend and roommate Mastro Raffaele to come home with some money so he can eat. Unfortunately, Mastro Raffaele has lost the coal he was supposed to sell, but he possesses a valuable item that he could pawn. When Mastro Raffaele goes to look for this item, Pulcinelluccio, the son of Pulcinella, shows up. Pulcinella has given Pulcinelluccio the job of taking a letter to his uncle to ask for a loan. But the child makes a greasy mark on the letter and his uncle refuses to read it. Pulcinella, furious, chases his son away. Even the hope of withdrawing some money from Mastro Raffaele’s treasury vanishes when the latter returns with an old garment. At that moment, the Prince of Casadoro, a friend of Pucinella, shows up.

The Prince has asked Cavaliere Buonobono for the hand of his daughter, the first dancer at the Naples Opera. Buonobono will agree to the marriage on condition that he meets the Prince’s family. But the Prince’s father and uncle are on a trip and the young lover, impatient to get married, asks Pulcinella and Mastro Raffaele to impersonate them. Buonobono starts to have doubts about the identity of the two friends when they throw themselves on the meal they have been served, climb on the table and put the spaghetti in their pockets. His suspicions are confirmed when he discovers Pulcinella with his wife. It turns out that Pulcinella’s wife and son had been hired as servants at Cavaliere Buonbono’s house after Pulcinella ejected them from his own house.

Despite the deception being uncovered, the young Prince obtains Buonobono’s forgiveness and pays Pulcinella and Mastro Raffaele for their services.

Related works
Miseria e nobiltà1888
Miseria e nobiltà (Film)1954
Composition date

Publications and translations

Mariachiara Rano

Conservation place

Author's archives
Literary tones
Animations techniques
Not specified


Theatrical techniques


Written by

Anna Leone