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La reprise, Histoire(s) du théâtre (I)

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.


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

© Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles