Romeo Castellucci

Wed 08 Apr 2009, Thu 09 Apr 2009

Barbican Theatre

Presented as three separate events – Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso, Romeo Castellucci has dismantled, exposed and transformed Dante’s epic text into a truly lived experience.
Using a profoundly visual style, Castellucci creates a deeply unsettling world forcing you into a hauntingly beautiful nightmare, engaging all your senses in an experience you are unlikely to forget. This is highly visceral theatre, full of provocative experiences not for the faint-hearted.

Inferno traditionally tells the epic tale of a struggle between heaven and hell, between God and the devil and between the living and the dead. Castellucci transports this story to the here and now, placing into question the future of humanity.

Depicting images of family life, Purgatorio is uncomfortably set in a fraught domestic space where the use of vivid imagination protects against a tormenting reality.
In an intimate installation, Paradiso creates the ultimate frame where small groups of viewers are sent on a journey to try and find paradise.


The work of Romeo Castellucci and Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio is considered by artists and audiences worldwide to be highly influential in contemporary performance. Having created a new non-narrative theatre, a visual language that directly challenges traditional forms, Castellucci makes impressively large-scale work that questions our entire human condition. It is visionary, uncompromising work, and always surprising.

Having been performed as part of the Festival D’Avignon 2008, this is the UK premiere of Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso (SPILL Festival of Performance bite09) and one of few opportunities to see the complete trilogy performed together worldwide.

Trilogy freely inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy

Romeo Castellucci, a director whose unsettling, astonishing, enraging theatre … cannot be easily ignored – Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Direction, set design, lighting and costumes by Romeo Castellucci
Original music by Scott Gibbons
Choreography by Cindy Van Acker and Romeo Castellucci

Collaboration to the set design by Giacomo Strada
Sculptures on stage, mechanisims and prosthesis by Istvan Zimmermann and Giovanna Amoroso
Automations by Giuseppe Contini

Co-produced by Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio; Festival d’Avignon; Le Maillon-Théâtre de Strasbourg, Théâtre Auditorium de Poitiers–Scène Nationale, Opéra de Dijon; barbicanbite09 London, as part of SPILL Festival of Performance, London; deSingel / Antwerpen, KunstenFESTIVALdesarts; De Munt/La Monnaie / Bruxelles; Athens Festival; UCLA Live / Los Angeles; La Bâtie-Festival de Genève; Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione / Modena; Nam June Paik Art Center / Gyeonggi-do, Korea; Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 09/ Vilnius International Theatre Festival Sirenos; Cankarjev dom / Ljubljana; F/T 09 / Tokyo International Arts Festival, Part of Paris Calling, a Franco-British season of performing arts at the Barbican.