Macbeth all'improvviso - Gigio Brunello, Gyula Molnár (aka Giulio Molnár)

Macbeth all'improvviso

Gigio Brunello, Gyula Molnár (aka Giulio Molnár) | 2001 | Mogliano Veneto, Italy
Genre (as defined by the author)
Rodolfo, Colombina, Brighella-Lady Macbeth, Arlecchino-Macbeth, Pantalone-Macduff, Balanzone-Banquo, Scritturato tuttofare Generico, Strega-pollo, Messaggero ferito, Guardiano notturno-asino, Sicario-cane, Messaggero-scimmia
Number of acts

Macbeth all'improvviso, a puppet show freely based on William Shakespeare's Macbeth, is the most successful production by Gigio Brunello. Conceived with Gyula Molnàr, who directed it in 2002, the show won both the National Theatre Critics' Award in 2002 and the Golden Siren Award at the Festival Internazionale dei Burattini e delle Figure Arrivano dal Mare!. Macbeth all'improvviso is a complex dramatic construction that echoes Pirandello's theatre within the theatre in Six Characters in search of an Author. In Brunello's text, the puppets break free from their stereotyped roles and seem to become the protagonists of the events by their own will.

In Italy, this play is still considered a fundamental step in the renewal of traditional glove puppet theatre.

Plot summary

Glove puppets revolt against the puppeteer

The puppeteer apologises to the audience because he is not ready to perform Macbeth: instead, he will perform an unpublished comedy by Goldoni, The Jealous Emigrant (which is, in fact, a fake written on purpose by Brunello). But one of his glove puppets, Arlequin, disagrees and organises a rebellion, convincing the other puppets to perform Macbeth. The tragedy begins, but Arlequin, who has dared to step out of his role, must die like Macbeth. The same applies to his antagonist King Duncan, who - as we discover at the end - is no other than the puppeteer himself.

Related works
The Servant of Two Masters
Macbeth, William Shakespeare1605-1608

First performance


Publications and translations


Gigio Brunello, Gyula Molnàr, Macbeth all’improvviso. Reggio Emilia: Edizioni Junior, 2003

Modern edition

Gigio Brunello, Tragedie e commedie per tavoli e baracche. Vittorio Veneto: De Bastiani Editore, 2018