Romeo Castellucci & Valérie Dréville


Before founding in 1981 the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio with Chiara Guidi and Claudia Castellucci, Romeo Castellucci studied fine arts in Bologna. It was therefore not by chance if the theatre that he invented is made up just as much by actors and dancers as by music, light, pictorial references, images and complex machines. Extremely sophisticated work that calls on traditional theatre crafts as well as the newest technologies. Stage art whose intention is to produce meaning in the eyes of the spectator, who is asked to be a privileged partner, indispensable for the development of a genuine sharing of this experience of a visual and intense auditory perception. Persuaded that words have “a heavier specific weight than objects and images”, Romeo Castellucci pays great attention to their use. Which in no way prevents the company from focusing on major dramatic and literary texts, always as a basis of research rather than as a hegemonic element of the performance. After Hamlet, Hansel and Gretel and Oresteia, it turned its attention in 1996 to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar for its first show at the Festival d'Avignon. Afterwards came Journey to the End of Night in 1999, Genesi in 2000, four episodes of the Tragedia Endogonidia given in 2001 and 2005, as well as Hey Girl! in 2007. Without forgetting the three parts of The Divine Comedy inspired by Dante and premiered in 2008 when Romeo Castellucci was one of the Festival's two associate artists, and On the Concept of the Face of the Son of God, performed in 2011.

JFP, April 2012


It is the desire to learn that seems to be at the heart of Valérie Dréville's approach to acting, even more than the desire to act. This is undoubtedly what makes her career atypical, rich in adventures and powerful experiences that transform her and permit her to always be where she is not necessarily expected. Learning and transmitting, of course, because Valérie Dréville does not want to isolate herself in an individual practice whose sterility would be totally foreign to her nature, someone who loves above all to share. Learning at the school of the Théâtre National de Chaillot with Antoine Vitez, her first master, the one who taught her that you must look outside yourself. Under his direction, she acted in some of the most important shows in the 1980s: Electra by Sophocles, The Satin Slipper by Paul Claudel, Galileo by Bertolt Brecht and La Celestina by Fernando de Rojas. Learning with Claude Régy, a master met at the Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique of Paris which she entered after the Chaillot. With Claude Régy, she explored another dimension of acting that she did not consider opposed to that of Antoine Vitez but, on the contrary, that she used as an extension of what she had already learned. With Claude Régy, she went deeper into herself to leave the possibility of expressing herself to her unconscious, and through it she encountered the universes of Gregory Motton (The Terrible Voice of Satan), Jon Fosse (Someone Is Going to Come, then Variations of Dead), David Harrower (Knives in Hens), Henri Meschonnic (who translated the Biblical psalms in Like a song of David) and Maurice Maeterlinck (The Death of Tintagiles).

Joining the Comédie-Française as a resident on the request of Antoine Vitez, who was appointed its administrator in 1988, she met her third master there, the Russian director Anatoli Vassiliev, who asked her to act in Masked Bal by Lermontov. Under his direction, she acted notably in Medea Material by Heiner Müller for several successive seasons starting in 2002. She had previously acted in Amphitryon by Molière, then took charge, on Vassiliev's request, of the "verbal training" of her fellow actors at the Comédie-Française for a new creation of Amphitryon by the Russian master in 2002. Meeting Anatoli Vassiliev was decisive for the actress, not only for the shows in which he offered her to act, but also, and perhaps above all, because this encounter allowed her to return to training. It permitted her to acquire knowledge of the Russian school and the tradition that stemmed from Stanislavski, and to discover the heart of Anatoli Vassiliev's research: a determination to go towards a theatre of ideas that expresses itself through work on words. To undertake this challenge, she learned Russian and spent time on several occasions in his theatre school in Moscow. These intensive learning periods did not prevent her from working as much in cinema (with Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Philippe Garrel, Arnaud Desplechin, Nicolas Klotz, Michel Deville) as in the theatre with Alain Françon who directed her in two plays by Edward Bond (The War Plays in 1994 and Chair in 2006), Luc Bondy for whom she was an unforgettable Phedra, Aurélien Recoing who offered her a role in Golden Head by Paul Claudel, but also Bruno Bayen, Jean-Pierre Vincent, Lluis Pasqual, Julie Brochen... For each of these directors, she has always been ready to call herself into question, contributing her energy, availability and commitment to make an "adventurous" theatre that addresses itself to a public curious about these adventures and discoveries come alive.

At the Festival d'Avignon, she acted in The Satin Slipper by Paul Claudel, directed by Antoine Vitez (1987) in the Cour d'honneur of the Popes' Palace, La Celestina de Fernando de Rojas, directed by Antoine Vitez (1989), The War Plays by Edward Bond, directed by Alain Françon (1994), Amphitryon by Molière, directed by Anatoli Vassiliev (1997), Medea Material by Heiner Müller, directed by Anatoli Vassiliev (2002) and Chair by Edward Bond, directed by Alain Françon (2006). She worked with Julie Brochen contributing her viewpoint to the staging of The Exchange by Paul Claudel, presented at the Festival d'Avignon 2007. She has also given many readings, the most recent ones being poems by Otto Tolnaï in 2006 and by Robert Desnos in 2007.

JFP Avignon, March 2008