Though the production, which Castellucci promised would “amaze and unsettle in equal measure”, had its first public performance on 15 March 2011 in Reinnes, the Italian avant-gardist felt it wasn’t ready. He warned audiences at subsequent performances that week that it was still a work in progress, after which he felt he still wasn’t able to realise his vision.
The Barbican – and other venues on the international tour schedule for Castellucci’s Societas Raffaello Sanzio company – have been offered another show, which is thematically linked and has been developed in parallel.
The similarly religiously controversial On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God will run over this Easter weekend, 21 to 23 April 2011, at the Barbican Theatre. An exploration of the idea of Jesus as an icon, the play unfolds in front of a giant Renaissance image of Christ and employs Castellucci's signature theatrical language to call into question mystical and theological manifestations.
After receiving its UK premiere in London, the co-commission by the Barbican and the biennial SPILL Festival will visit Spain, Russia, Holland, Greece, Italy and Germany.
On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God has is conceived, directed and staged by Castellucci, with collaboration by Giacomo Strada and original music by Scott Gibbons. The cast are Gianna Plazzi, Sergio Scarlatella, Dario Boldrini, Silvia Costa and Silvano Voltolina.