BATTUAGE: to search (as in public places) for a sexual partner. Generally, they are open-door or easily reachable places (i.e. vespasians, parks, beaches, cemeteries, cinemas, parking areas) where singles or couples go and look for partner swapping. ‘Battuage’ differs from prostitution because it does not imply any payment but sometimes transsexuals, prostitutes and male escorts offer sexual services in exchange for money.
“Today is my birthday. It is my fourth year here and I am still waiting for the right moment, for that right audition to come so that I could get away from this shitty place. But sooner or later, I will catch the right train. If only I knew I would have ended up as a bitch, well, then I would have had remained in Sicily".
BATTUAGE tells the story of a place where a few night owls - straight, gay, transsexuals, gigolos, whores, swingers - go in search of sex: for free, for money, for easy sex in general. And it is a place non-place which is told through the eyes of Salvatore. But Salvatore is not a victim because he has chosen to play a role in that game. And the question is: how far would a human being go to get what he wants?
Sex becomes then the only means of contact among men as the last and only junction through these relationships. But what it comes out is just a boundless loneliness and these souls really want to remain so as they sink inside their own selves. Desire consequently turns into a nihilistic grief of those relationships which are now anti-sexual and that even represent the death of eros. Battuage embodies the place where desire itself has died. This play moves around the contradiction man has created.
The stage turns into the metaphor of the characters’ world: very anonymous places – urinals, especially - which are the meeting points where these empty bodies live, symbols of a spreading decadence. This obituary shows four bodies – the actors’ interpreting eight characters – that could be enough to tell you about the whole depersonalizing humanity.
BATTUAGE wants to put on scene the attempts and the needs of these souls trying to strongly keep a hold on their own deformity so that they will not feel completely dead. It is a journey inside the deepest human soul’s obscurity in order to bring up some authenticity sealed into a box to be opened.
“Aw shit, mom! I decided myself. There is no pimp obliging me to do what I do. I know that I will have something to eat if I ever come back home, mom. I know it very well. But I’m like a pig, mom. That food won’t be enough for me. I will eat everybody’s food".
written and directed by Joele Anastasi
with Joele Anastasi, Enrico Sortino, Federica Carruba Toscano, Simone Leonardi / Ivan Castiglione
stage and costume designer Giulio Villaggio
light designer Davide Manca
original music “Battuage” Alberto Guarrasi
ph. Dalila Romeo
video and graphic designer Giuseppe Cardaci
production Fondazione Teatro di Napoli - Teatro Bellini