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Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

Les Enfants terribles

Jean Cocteau
Philip Glass
Phia Ménard

10 & 11.02.2023

Les Enfants terribles by Jean Cocteau, a romantic masterpiece of a generation between the wars in Paris, left the acid memory of the colours of Paul and his sister Élisabeth’s bedroom, overtaken by games of desire. This timeless tableau of adolescence, as poisonous as it is dreamy, with saturated romanticism in a form of flamboyant camera, still dazzles.

Rather than opting for a literal adaptation of the novel, Phia Ménard chooses to focus on the lyrical reading of it by Philip Glass in his Opera for 4 voices and three pianos. And more contemporary, it now sheds light on history in the light of aging and degenerative diseases, by establishing a parallel between adolescent and aging bodies, each as isolated and at odds with society as the other.

Attached to the movement that invigorates Philip Glass’s piece, she imagines a revolving stage device and symbolic appearances that give the show its singular rhythm, in an intermingling of song, music, text and dance, at a fast tempo. As for Emmanuel Olivier, the musical director, he magnifies the tragic beauty of Philip Glass’s opera, as well as its immersive dimension.

Première belge
Coproduction Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles
Corealisation Kaaitheater, Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

With the support of the French Embassy in Belgium
In the scope of EXTRA, a programme to support French contemporary creation.


  • - 20:15
  • - 20:15



fr, surtitling nl




Grande salle


Direction & Senography
Phia Ménard

Musical direction
Emmanuel Olivier

François Piolino
Mélanie Boisvert
Ingrid Perruche
Olivier Naveau
Jonathan Drillet
Nicolas Royez
Flore Merlin
Emmanuel Olivier

Assistant Director and Scenography
Clarisse Delile

Jonathan Drillet

Marie La Rocca

Light design
Éric Soyer

Music director
Emmanuel Olivier

Sound operator
Jonathan Lefèvre-Reich

Stage manager
Marie Bonnier

Stage director
Nicolas Marchand

la co[opéra]tive : Les 2 Scènes / Scène nationale de Besançon, Théâtre Impérial – Opéra de Compiègne, Le Bateau Feu / Scène nationale de Dunkerque, Théâtre de Cornouaille / Scène nationale de Quimper, Opéra de Rennes, Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing Coproduction La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand / Scène nationale, MC2 / Scène nationale de Grenoble, MC93 / Scène nationale de Bobigny, Théâtre National de Wallonie-Bruxelles, Le Carreau / Scène nationale de Forbach Secrétaire général Emmanuel Quinchez

Administration and production
Ella Berkovich

The interlude added after scene 13 is an extract from Jean Cocteau s'adresse à l'an 2000 / Jean Cocteau, short film (12 juin 1962).

© Christophe Raynaud de Lage
Le Rideau de saison, Maak & Transmettre · photos : Lucile Dizier, 2024