Foto: Mazen Jannoun

Mary Magdalene of salvation [2011]

from “Fires” by Marguerite Yourcenar

by: Monica Ciarcelluti and Riccardo Palmieri
with: Monica Ciarcelluti
Direction: Riccardo Palmieri

Set design: Saverio Todaro
Music: Michele Zanni
Lighting: Sergio Taddei


“Magdalene or of Salvation” is a monologue for actresses based on the short story of the same name in the collection “Fires” by Marguerite Yourcenair. Mary Magdalene confesses, denounces, proclaims, and pronounces through a haemorrhagic narration her ascent towards salvation, her salvation from ‘happiness’. What does it mean for us to be free? The affront of freedom to life: what is its cost? Where and when does its martyrdom end? “…we used to be exposed to any pain in order to give birth to a new life”. (M. Yourcenar).

In desire lies the ultimate freedom, the salvation from seeing one’s ideals and highest dreams fulfilled. “Be careful what you wish for, for you may get what you wish for” (O. Wilde). The vitality of the search is opposed to the immobility of gratification – bulimic and compulsive – typical of our age. The non-satisfaction of desire makes Magdalene pregnant with life. Mary Magdalene desires and in doing so is freed from the success of a perfect life. Her inability to satisfy this feverish hunger for life and love saves her.

Word, sound, image, are combined in a single scenic event, which in turn becomes an expressive line that drags the observer into a limbo suspended between philosophy and archetypal conceptuality. The word becomes an element of signifying sounds. The sounds become litanies, liturgies, it is no longer important what is being said but what is being evoked. We are in metaphysics.

production Arterie Cirt in collaboration with Florian Teatro Stabile d’Innovazione
with the contribution of Fondazione Pescarabruzzo

under the patronage of Assessorato alla Cultura di Sestola (Mo)