“Immaculate Conception” at the Rifredi theatre

Sicily still protagonist at the Teatro di Rifredi from Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 November. After the success of Pupo di Zucchero by Emma Dante, it is the turn of Immaculate Conception by Vuccirìa Teatro, written and directed by Joele Anastasi, born from an idea by Federica Carruba Toscano, who also plays the role of Concetta, the protagonist.

An intense show of great poetry, straddling performance, theater and tradition, which evokes the story of a Sicilian microcosm made up of silence, violence and presumption, but also of that typical authenticity of the island’s carnality.

We are in Sicily in 1940. Concetta, a silent and innocent girl, is bartered by her father who fell into disgrace for a pregnant goat and entrusted to Donna Anna, keeper of the village brothel. Soon the newcomer’s fame reaches the whole country, but no one knows exactly what pleasures she gives men to drive them so crazy.

Immaculate Conception is the story of a modern Saint, of an emblematic figure, who like an ancient vestal appears sacred, while her carnal attentions are in the public domain. Concetta is a virgin, no one has ever touched her. She believes that making love means shaving or playing a two-three-star game, or offering her breast for the tears of the village squire and, after all, she offers them what they can’t find in anyone else.

Thus the young woman is transformed into an oracle, a divine altar, a little image to venerate, on which to cry, pray and laugh, while her virginal sensuality protects her from the outside world, isolating her from everything else. Social roles liquefy within the four walls of a room, only to solidify once again, just outside of there. But it’s also a story that proves that when you have the courage to show the cracks in your soul, all the scars become the most beautiful work of art.

Explains Joele Anastasi, author and director of the Vuccirìa Teatro show – one of the most innovative companies on the national scene, already winner of numerous prizes and awards – on stage at the Rifredi Theater from Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 November: «Immacolata Concezione tells the power and the cult of the image which, arriving at dehumanizing a living body to transform it into a fetish, is subject to the need to establish a relationship based on the unexpressed desires of one’s unconscious. The Immaculate Conception – he continues – is the saint of the flesh and tells what earthquake the encounter between spirituality and carnality can generate on the level of the community. The 1940s represent an essential watershed in the history of humanity. The advent of the Second World War, with all that it caused, revealed how the human being itself was brutally reified and desacralized. From that historical moment the very vision of humanity, both in the relationships between people and in the relationship with power, will change profoundly and the very concept of the sacred will cease to have a correspondence in the plane of reality. The pièce, therefore – he concludes – shows the turning point of a social system in which relationships would still like to be produced instead of brutally consumed. Although they tell of a world in which a future and hope can still exist, they already contain the germ of that sick drift that will find a possibility of expression in the world war and in totalitarian regimes.

“Immaculate Conception” at the Rifredi theatre