by Valeria Raimondi, Enrico Castellani e Vincenzo Todesco
words by Enrico Castellani
with Enrico Castellani, Valeria Raimondi, Ettore Castellani e Orlando Castellani
setting Babilonia Teatri
light and sound Babilonia Teatri and Luca Scotton
costumes Babilonia Teatri and Franca Piccoli
organization Alice Castellani
graphics Franciu

Babilonia Teatri
co-production La Nef / Fabrique des Cultures Actuelles Saint-Dié-des-Vosges (France) e MESS International Theater Festival Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
in collaboration with Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione
with the support of Fuori Luogo La Spezia
theatre laboratory in collaboration with Associazione ZeroFavole realaized with the contribution of Fondazione Alta Mane-Italia

Running time 50′

World Première

Babilonia Teatri, one of the most innovative companies of the Italian contemporary scene, already awarded with important prizes such as Premio Hystrio in 2012, Premio Ubu in 2011 as new Italian/dramaturgical research, Premio Off Teatro Stabile Veneto, Premio Speciale Ubu 2009 for the ability to renew the scene, presents Jesus. Founded in 2005 by Enrico Castellani and Valeria Raimondi, Babilonia Teatri immediately imposed itself on the Italian scene for his irreverent and divergent eye on some burning issues of times, including racism, labor, pornography information, lust for success, violence or even cultural desertification. With its style and its unconventional codes ranging from visual language to the video, the company tries to arise conflicts and tensions.. Jesus focuses on the figure of Jesus: from his history, words, actions, and from the Gospels, Enrico Castellani and Valeria Raimondi investigate on the figure of Jesus, in order to discover the origin of our religion, to understand where the need to believe has its origins. “We’ve always said that with our theatre we did not want to tell stories,” Valeria Raimondi says, and continues: ”But then the tale of Pinocchio came. Then again a story, the story of Lolita. Two different stories but with a strong common feature, that is being very popular. Not in the details or in the precise sequence of events, but Pinocchio and Lolita have entered the collective imagination and are able to open worlds simply by naming them. If the point is to get a best-known story, the most pop that everyone knows, such a familiar character has come: Jesus, whose life and death are universally known. (…) If we try to make a game-list of everything we remember about Jesus, probably we find it hard to stop. The barn, the angel who announces the Magi, shepherds, baptism, the 12 disciples, the healing of the leper. Lazarus who got up and walked, the good Samaritan, the parable of bread and fish. Jesus walking on the water, the kiss of Judas, the lost sheep, the Last Supper, St. Thomas, the wedding at Cana, the Cross, the Golgota, Barabbas, the empty tomb, the cross, the resurrection, the washing of the feet, Pilate, Herod … I have grown with his sentences, they have accompanied and shaped me. And I was not aware of that.  With a little catechism and some sacrament. But most of all Jesus has spoiled me, kept me calm, he suffered, lived, fought and finally died. But with a happy ending. He died and rose again. I do not have to worry about, I do not have to be afraid, everything will be ok. For a real life. Beyond the clouds.”

Babilonia Teatri, biography

Babilonia Teatri

Babilonia Teatri is an Italian theatre company founded in 2005 by Valeria Raimondi and Enrico Castellani, based in Oppeano (near to Verona), in Le Merle, twice winner of the UBU Prize (2009 and 2011). The company was born in 2005, around a project about the war in Iraq, called Cabaret Babilonia. The play wasn’t performed, but its title gave the name to the company. Since then the company has brought its shows in the main Italian, European and non-European cities (Berlin, Paris, Sarajevo, Strasburg, Bogotà, Moscow). Beyond the several prizes it was awarded also with two UBUPrizes: in 2009 the special prize as guide of the current generational shift and in 2011 as the best new Italian text or dramaturgical research, for the two founders Valeria Raimondi and Enrico Castellani.

The ideal of the company is pop-rock-punk. According to the company, the theatre is a mirror of the society it lives in and the reality. The performances examine the possibility of staying on the scene: without telling a story, without using characters, without a relationship between the actors, without giving up the use of the word, without resorting to fiction/identification mechanisms. The result is a theatre where the actors leave their bodies to the words and the images. The words are simply said. The voice, without any intonation, is mouthpiece of the text while the body gives life to images, which appears and disappears without continuity.  Words and images alternate. From static moments, when the text is said, to moments in which the scene acquires a deliberately chaotic dimension, where the meaning comes from the combination of what happens on the scene and what is proposed by voice-off, a music, a television report. This way creates a set-up, which can be related to the film clip set-up or rather a sort of theatrical blob. The scenes follow one another overlapping each other. Interrupting one another. It is a continuous game of cross references and associations where often the link between the scenes is the music or the light. Text are bare. Rhythmic. Syncopated. They often become lists or catchphrases. They glean from slang and low language, combined with other references. The words run after each other following an in-text logic. There are assonances, wordplays, meaning shifts, commonplaces. A theatre is considered as a research and experimentation theatre when it gets to be authentic, when it succeeds in meeting the attempt of finding a language, a theatrical one, able to communicate the feelings of those who makes the performance but speaking to the audience. And at the same time when it gets to create something, not from the goal of being original but when the result is something cannot be defined by words, something does not correspond to given standards and about which we ask what it is and we don’t know the answer.