Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

J’ai une épée

Léa Drouet

18 > 21.05.2023

Léa Drouet’s theatre forgives nothing. It is deeply calm, rooted in the recesses of everyday matter, by concern for necessity, but also for simple honesty of gaze. It’s inseparable from the search for a form of representation that does not stop at what is ”given” or at the archetypal, but goes further, to an often mysterious experience. That’s where it all starts.

After Violences presented at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2021, the new creation J’ai une épée (‘I have a sword’) is one of the heights of this mystery, that of childhood. Combining field research, fiction and stage writing that weaves together at the junction of sound, scenography, text and body, the director and performer seeks less to ”look at children” according to a logic which, under the guise of new attention to be given, remains that of targeting identities, but begins by ”looking at how we look at children”. What are the ”surroundings” of childhood? What form is given to children by the way in which they are observed and represented – not least by the institutions supposed to protect, educate and ”supervise” them? What ”frames” exist precisely, and what deframings can take place so that a childhood has the space to exist?

What do we see of the 10-year-old child that we accompany to a psychiatric centre; the 12-year-old who has been placed in a specialized home or foster family; of the 8-year-old who is taken at dawn to the police station on the charge of apologizing for terrorism; of the 14-year-old who is welcomed at home, with his family, as an ”unaccompanied minor”?

Passing from one story to another in a stand-up aesthetic, a scenography that multiplies the stage curtain like so many little castles, music by Elg, taking up the codes of the ”ouverture” and the epic charge that we would have soaked in a bath of synthetic and colorful electronic sounds, Léa Drouet gradually conjures up without ever showing it directly this absent point of the child who insists while escaping. It is not a question of catching up with the child but perhaps just of letting it slip away with all that that implies of difficulty, fragility, cruelty but also glitter and unicorns in saturated, acid colours.

Création Studio Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles
Coproduction Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Théâtre de Liège, Mars-Mons, Le Maillon-Strasbourg, Le Printemps des Comédiens
Corealisation Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles




fr, surtitling en, nl




Direction, text and performer
Léa Drouet

Camille Louis

Set design
Élodie Dauguet

Music composition

Nicolas Olivier

Direction assistant
Marion Menan

Développement production et diffusion
France Morin
Arts Management Agency 

A performance by
Léa Drouet

Création Studio Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles, Vaisseau asbl

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Le Maillon, Theatre de Strasbourg – Scène européenne, Printemps des Comédiens Montpellier, NEXT Arts Festival, Théâtre de Liège, Mars-Mons – Arts de la scène, La Coop asbl et Shelter Prod.

With help from
La Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Service Général de la Création Artistique – Direction du Théâtre

With support from
Kunstencentrum Buda, La Bellone - House of Performing Arts,, ING et du Tax Shelter du gouvernement fédéral belge

© Elodie Dauguet
© Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles