Works: Francesca Grilli

Feb. 12, 1979: Stuntwoman Kitty O’Neil – R.L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times


What does a hikikomori dream about when they sleep? How do they perceive the outside world? How many times can a woman fall in an hour? What record would a stuntwoman set with respect to the challenge of falling and getting up and falling and getting up and falling and getting up? With performance project Record, involving the characters of a hikikomori and a stunt woman, Francesca Grilli wants to present the delicate and fragile way of life typical of adolescence – an age balanced between the desire to throw oneself into life and the desire to withdraw from it.

As the stuntwoman takes the risk of dying, but she survives thanks to her extreme and reckless actions, the hikikomori avoids the risk of physical suicide through their complete inactivity and the rejection of every social challenge. The hikikomori witnesses the most extreme solitude and the most profound suffering from someone who cannot face their limits and who lives every single failure as unbearable. Nevertheless, they dream, they feel, and they take part in life. In less severe cases, they act in the world through an avatar, an alternative body, a powerful alter ego that replaces them in the most dangerous activities. A sort of imaginary stunt double who lives adventures in their place. They are the two specular sides of the same conflict. In that sense, adolescence is connected to both of them: teenagers are about to jump in life and take the risk of it and, at the same time -in this historical period- they are afraid to come out to the world. Their record is meant as the unavoidable blemishes of a society that makes death and failure two of its biggest taboos ever.

In this performance, a choir of teenagers, placed in a liminal space, will sing a composition made out of the hikikomori’s confessions. The scene is focused on a single action: falling and getting up again – trying, at each performance, to break a new record. This act sums up the moment we are living, in which we are all involved, with hardships and joys, mixed feelings and bewilderment.


Creation: Francesca Grilli Words: Azzurra D’Agostino, Piffi Production, communication, distribution, tour management, administration: Hiros Stuntwoman: Lisa Patoor Action: Benno Steinegger Sound designer: Christophe Albertijn Video maker: Gianluca Mattei Studio assistant: Elena Regazzoni Coproduction: Vooruit (BE); workspacebrussels (BE); Indisciplinarte Terni (IT); Snaporazverein (CH); Hostcena (NO); Partners: KAAP (BE); Kaaitheater (BE); BASE Milano (IT), Bunker / Mladi Levi festival (SI); Short Theatre Rome (IT). With the support of: Corpoceleste (IT); WpZimmer (BE)