Tragedia Endogonidia – Romeo Castellucci in Melbourne

Mostly I am remiss. Three weeks since I arrived in Melbourne, and only today did I finally hang out with proud owner of a new Mac Book Pro (fuck. fuck. fuck. bitch!), Emile, whom I last saw being driven unsteadily across the Pearl River in the arms of a red Hunan taxi in mid-May. Yes, there were many memories to dredge up, and photos shared (naturally these will appear here as soon as I’ve scanned them), and more facile meditations on future art horribleness together.

When he said, “Romeo Castellucci. Melbourne Festival. Brussels show”, I replied, “mmmllllluuughhh!”, and “destruction of language”, and “uh! I mean, Waah! Romeo Castellucci in Melbourne!”, who is of course one of the few theatre companies I rave effusively about, or more accurately, he is the director of Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, that along with Jan Fabre’s Troubleyn has benn an enormous influence on me and I can’t think of many better ways to spend a few years than to be in these ensembles.

Visionary director Romeo Castellucci returns to Melbourne with an episode from his latest epic visual theatre work, Tragedia Endogonidia. Founded in the Italian city of Cesena in 1981, Castellucci’s company Socíetas Raffaello Sanzio has staged some of the most controversial theatre work of the last 25 years.

Tragedia Endogonidia is a single work created over three years that has evolved in various stages, called episodes. Each episode refers to the city in which it was created and after which it is named, but each stands alone as a theatrical event. For the Festival Societás Raffaello Sanzio presents the fourth episode of this cycle – BR.#04 Brussels, an intense production that will stay with audiences for a long time.

The opening scene of BR.#04 Brussels thrusts audiences into what will be the central question of the episode, the question of time. The episode is set in a room entirely covered with white marble, like the wide foyer of a public building, with neither doors nor windows, nor any kind of furniture. The place is plain and conveys a feeling of emptiness, devoid of warmth. Text is abandoned. It is the language of the body that speaks, the language of physical and moral danger, of myth, expressing the futility of struggle and the void of history.

Audiences who remember the 2002 Festival’s presentation of Socíetas Raffaello Sanzio’s Genesi: From the Museum of Sleep will need no introduction to the powerful work of Romeo Castellucci. Visceral, profoundly provocative and deeply disturbing, this is not theatre for the faint-hearted.

— Melbourne International Arts Festival