Performed: - Darmstadt, Germany, May 06 - Jun 20, 2001
Disgusted by reality Enrico retreats into a fantasy world of the 12th century king Henry IV, who had to go to Canossa to beg forgiveness of the Pope for his insurgency. In his castle, Henry has recreated the court of the king, and any visitor has to pick a role to play. When his old lover arrives with her daughter, fiancé and present lover to ascertain whether he is truly crazy, they have to play appropriate parts. However, real life bursts in and destroys illusions in more ways than one. In the end Enrico is alone again, safe now from all intrusion.
Pirandello wrote his play Enrico IV, when Fascism was on the rise in Italy. Though he himself was initially in favor of Mussolini’s regime, and let himself be claimed as artistic ambassador, over the years he grew disenchanted and retreated behind the walls of his art.