One night in April of 2012, Ihsane Jarfi gets talking to a group of young men in a grey VW Polo in front of a gay club on a street corner in Liège. Two weeks later he is found dead at the edge of a wood. He had been violently murdered after being tortured for hours. The crime upsets and unsettles the entire city. Milo Rau is reconstructing the case – working with professional and non-professional actors – for the stage.

From the very beginning, theatre has been an incantation of the dead, a ritualized experience of original sins and collective traumas. In “The Repetition”, the first part of a series curated by Milo Rau titled “Histoire(s) du théâtre”, the director and author approaches tragedy in the form of a multi-perspective narrative of a criminal case in 5 acts. What is at the beginning of a crime? Intention or coincidence? What part does the audience play? How much is the collective to blame? And who is on stage? Milo Rau and his four actors Sara De Bosschere, Sébastien Foucault, Johan Leysen and Tom Adjibi, as well as the storeman Fabian Leenders and the dog-sitter Suzy Cocco set out to discover a capital crime, in search of the essential emotions of tragic experiences: loss and grief, truth and falsehood, disaster and fear, cruelty and terror. Six professional and non-professional actors ponder the glamour and depths of life and theatre and slip into the roles of the protagonists involved in a brutal murder case: A manifesto for a democratic theatre of the real emerges.

With this production, Milo Rau will be introducing the series “Histoire(s) du théâtre”, a performative long-term study on human kind’s oldest art form, which the Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula will be continuing in the 2018/19 season. Rau and his team return to the fundamental problems of their artistic work over the last 15 years: the question of representability of violence and traumatic events on stage – in search of the essence of the fundamentally tragic human condition and in celebration of the power of theatre.

Discussion after the show

9/05 – 22:00, admission free (FR, EN, NL), in collaboration with Médor.
Moderators: Flore Herman & Laure Saupique

The artistic crew of Histoire du Théâtre enters into a discussion with Olivier Bailly, founding member of the magazine for investigation journalism Médor.

With the piece as starting point, they discuss how theatre provokes changes in reality, when journalism enters the stage, documentary theatre and journalist fictions, …



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  • Concept & Director 
    Milo Rau

    Milo Rau and ensemble

    Sara De Bosschere, Suzy Cocco, Sébastien Foucault, Fabian Leenders, Johan Leysen, Tom Adjibi

    Research & dramaturgy
    Eva-Maria Bertschy

    Dramaturgic collaboration
    Stefan Bläske, Carmen Hornbostel

    Set & Costume design
    Anton Lukas

    Maxime Jennes and Dimitri Petrovic

    Light design 
    Jurgen Kolb

    Technical director 
    Jens Baudisch

    Production management
    Mascha EuchnerMartinez, Eva-Karen Tittmann

    Assistant director
    Carmen Hornbostel

    Assistant dramaturg 
    François Pacco

    Assistant set design 
    Patty Eggerickx

    Fight choregraphy
    Cécric Cerbara

    Vocal coaching 
    Murielle Legrand

    Musical arrangement 
    Gil Mortio

    Public relation
    Yven Augustin

    Workshops and studios of the Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

  • Création Studio Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles


    International Institute of Policital Murder (IIPM), Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles 

    Supported by
    Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin, Pro Helvetia, Onda - Office national de diffusion artistique.


    Kunstenfestivaldesarts, NTGent, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers, Tandem Scène Nationale Arras Douai, Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz Berlin, Théâtre de Liège, Münchner Kammerspiele, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt a. M., Theater Chur, Gessnerallee Zürich, Romaeuropa Festival. 

    With the support of
    l’ESACT Liège

    © Michiel Devijver

See also...

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