Theatre Review: “Jesus. A One Man Fighting Show”

A raging duel between the sacred and the cliché, the supreme and the lesser- ‘good’: the mercantile dogma of your own, personal Jesus.

Babilonia Teatri: Theatre Review - Jesus
Photo credit: Babilonia Teatri

JESUS written and produced by contemporary theatre company Babilonia Teatri and performed by Valeria Raimondi and Enrico Castellani debuted on Ash Wednesday, the 18th of February at 9pm to an eager audience at Pesaro’s experimental theatre. The posthumous holder of the Premio Hystrio 2012, Permio Ubu 2011, Premio Off from Veneto’s Theatre Stabile and the Premio Speciale Ubu in 2009 continues to establish a gargantuan walk having just been founded in 2005 by Valeria Raimondi and Enrico Castellani.

Between the hoisted sacred lamb, dead-centre stage and the frenetic, syllables grounded to 50 minutes of deliverance -embodied by the talented Valeria Raimondi- a journey through man’s history, his existential time and space faces us with poignant calls for reflection, a distancing from the unreachable supreme to the more attainable, acts of brotherly humanity. Thoroughly imbibed on the message she must give, forces her message through a lamb recipe that feeds twelve and leaf blowers coupled with the pictorial namesake sharing comfort with his lamb as a pestering Sun salutes his walking cane. Through confetti, showgirl numbers and her own dancing cane, our golden girl reminds that Jesus is now famous, he is the boyfriend of superstar Madonna, a pair of jeans, plays football for Inter, and he is on our souvenirs – he is everywhere, a thoroughly mercantile interpretation of omnipotence- “Gesù è di tutti, tutti per Gesù.” An evolution from Judas’ doubt: ‘Heaven On Their Minds.’ from the acclaimed Broadway musical, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ to a radical viewing of the sacred as literal elements sans spirituality.

Teetering on sparse thickness between the engulfed messenger and more troubling exhaustion, the fragility, vulnerability of our Christian faith confronts, undresses, sits before us. Demands answers to plagued questions and masterfully presents our popularised, mercantile Jesus.

Another messenger – joined us in emotion filled words, dance and even song. Reflection: imposed, beseeched, and laboured unto a silent throng. Positioned between the slaughtered stage prop and the seated disciples; an epiphany of words, emotions thrown at us like potatoes, uncooked potatoes. A performance built on the very ground it disturbs, the very brunt of its questioning – our true spiritual existence, trapped between reality and the real. Edified on the very thing our faith is enriched with, illusionary Hope first dressed in a black and gold Banderillero themed bolero, black skirt and high heels then hallowed white segues to reveal our truthful nakedness.

An almost mythical, imagined Middle Age scene of a prized and equally feared Great Sword complete with an elaborate pommel and two sharpened, glistening blades about to be buried with its Viking owner looked at from a protected place, our eyes, mind, and ways; you rewardingly take from it as you will.

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Migration: What are we?


‘Culture’ is an instrument for identifying, selecting, and affirming certain “good” things, forms, practices, or ideas over others and in so doing culture transmits, diffuses, partitions, teaches, presents, propagates, persuades, and above all it creates and recreates itself as specialized apparatus for doing all those things’. Edward Said

Idealism and Realism

The potentials and harnessed virtues of cultural diversity are well known; The School of Paris – circa 1900-1940 a vibrant cultural centre in the French capital, frequented by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and similarly inclined from a plethora of countries – was among others, intricately inspired by powerful art expressions through an appreciation of African elements that saw more than the evident ethnographic value but also sought to understand more profoundly, her rich aesthetic. It also is mentionable to remind of Paul Gauguin’s Peruvian and French parentage, and travelled life evoking mystical use of the spiritual and structural African…

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