Adored by his admirers, reviled by his critics, Romeo Castellucci’s shock antics leave no one indifferent.
Considered one of the most important theatre figures of our times, Romeo Castellucci has given three shows at Vidy theatre in Lausanne in a single year. In the meantime, he has also opened the Paris Opera’s new season with a rendition of Schoenberg’s ‘Moses und Aron’ that uses a live ox, a levitating machine and soaks the chorus in black ink.
Not since Dario Fo and Giorgio Strehler has Italian theatre generated such an international following, and controversy. But while Fo resuscitated commedia dell'arte and Strehler renewed the classics, including in opera, Castellucci has invented a theatrical language that is entirely his own. Never before has the stage served so well to enter someone’s mind.
In elaborate stagings, either in deafening music or in silence, Castellucci is giving shape to his complex views on spirituality and on the human condition. The images he delivers are haunting and powerful and work on us like visual art. Texts are used less for meaning, than to cadence the performance.
The show given this time at Vidy theatre created an uproar when it was first produced, but it continues to travel widely. In Sul concetto di volto nel figlio di Dio (On the concept of the face, regarding the son of God), Jesus looks on, as a son tends lovingly to his aging father whose bowels wreak havoc, including on the stage.
Not the kind of stuff for an entertaining evening? Well not exactly, but Castellucci is a creative power-force that leaves no one indifferent and must be seen, at least once.