Societas Raffaello Sanzio / Romeo Castellucci, Hey Girl!

Review in Issue 20-2 | Summer 2008

The opening image of Hey Girl! is mesmerising: we see a heap of flesh-coloured material on top of, and dripping off, a bare table. A dangling arm and hand suggest a human form, and through small movements a young woman emerges from the amorphous heap, shedding what seems to be a second skin.

Despite the clinical white light the eyes struggle at first to perceive a human shape, as thick clouds of haze and the fleshy tone of the second skin and dripping plastic confuse it. The extreme slowness of her gradual appearance thus challenges the audience to make sense of the changing forms in front of them. Unable to change perspective or follow the urge to touch the image to clarify our perception, Castellucci captures our attention by gradually revealing more and more of her body.

Sadly the expectations raised by the inventiveness and strength of this first image are not fulfilled throughout the performance. Some of the images to follow, such as the violent beating of the woman by a group of men, seen only as anonymous shadows, can be interpreted even before they are fully presented and the slow, gradual buildup with its copious use of theatrical smoke disappoints, merely revealing something utterly foreseeable.

Sitting through these rather obvious images presented at a very low pace may not be entirely pleasurable, but at regular intervals the spectator is rewarded with further visual gems – in retrospect, these strong impressions linger on… but it is not enough.

Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Feb 2008

This article in the magazine

Issue 20-2
p. 30