The Belly of the Whale

« History growls, it gnashes its teeth. We cannot change it, embellish it, or make it more just. We cannot look at it without revulsion. But we can recount it through the eyes of the defeated, we can rewrite it with the words of the feeble.
History pushes, it shoves. It crouches only when pain is passed down, when Time hands over its hunger and its dreams- when yesterday invents its future ».

Daniele Bernardi, Simone Martino, Damian Soriano, Carlo Verre, Freddy Virgolini

Antonella Jemma
Stage design
Teatro delle Radici
Maria Porter
Assistant director
Bruna Gusberti

Written and directed by
Cristina Castrillo

Usually represented as a place of solitude, the belly of the whale is the penultimate environment in which one is sequestered to measure one’s own strengths, to engage in self reflection, and to either triumph over or to succomb to oneself- ultimately reducing the self to nothing.

It is a belly : trench, or tomb, or bed. A belly : prison or nest.
And it is in this place, desolate, still, that the five protagonists must work ; carrying out the daily task imposed upon them of burying the dead.
Relationships unravel because of insincere alliances and weaknesses which they recognize in themselves. Roles are easily reversed : the weakest can strike the most violent blow and aggression gives rise to gestures of infinite sweetness.

There are alone, because it is when one is alone that questions arise, but each needs the other, because each one has within an important piece of the other, and because each will be for the other the duty which must be fulfilled.

Penetrating the path of violence with images that (perhaps without knowing so beforehand) speak of war, The Belly of the Whale has emerged as a common need to refelct on aspects of Man’s desolation and cruelty.