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E. Papalexiou, “The Body as Dramatic Material in the Theatre of Romeo Castellucci”

Prospero European Review. Theatre and Research, 2: 2011


This paper focuses on the theatre of the Italian company Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio and its stage director Romeo Castellucci with regard to their work with handicapped actors, an interesting but also provocative aspect of their art, both in terms of aesthetics and ethics. We often see in their productions “abnormal” bodies extremely obese, mutilated, in other words, marked by “the experience of life”. For instance, for the production Giulio Cesare, it is an anorexic girl that is selected –a fully assumed corporeity that expresses the state of psychological emptiness– to interpret the character of Brutus; in Genesi the mutilated breast of Eve symbolizes the loss of Abel and the atrophied hand of Cain represents the act of fratricide; as for the Greek god Apollo in Orestea, this will be an actor who, like an Ancient Greek statue, has both arms missing –a body that expresses the powerlessness of the god to intervene in this drama.

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