Julien Gosselin

Si vous pouviez lécher mon cœur

I totally agree with le phenix’s belief that with contemporary demanding shows, an inexperienced audience can be seduced.

Tell us about your career

When I was in high school in Dinkerk, I collaborated with Pierre Foviau who was putting on a play – Class Enemy by Nigel Williams. It was a fantastic experience. I really wanted to tread the boards, there was no doubt whatsoever. Acting was nice but being in a theatre was what I wanted the most. Rehearsing, exchanging, taking part in a collective project. It was something I deeply dreamt of. I then assisted Pierre with one of his shows – 4. 48 Psychose by Sarah Kane. He encouraged me to take the EPSAD entrance examination despite the fact that I was reluctant to enter a drama school. In the end, Stuart Seide proved to be very important to me. I realize today how his tremendous energy and inspirational ability to focus on stage have guided me. Stuart also taught me that theatre is a very practical art…
Michel Houellebecq makes a difference between poetry – which is built from intuition, and the novel – which results from the laborious art of building a story. I myself compare theatre to the novel : the path to beauty has to be built step by step.

When I left school, I created the collective of artists Si vous pouviez lécher mon coeur (If only you could lick my heart). Our first show was Gênes 01 (Peanuts : Gênes 01) by Fausto Paravidino and then, Tristesse animal noir by Anja Hilling, for which we were supported by le Théâtre de Vanves. Stanislas Nordey saw the play and recommended it to Vincent Baudriller who used to be director of the Festival d’Avignon. He invited us to take part in the festival with Les particules élémentaires (Atomised), despite the fact that the audience had never heard of us… The play was such a success that the experience was renewed. Le phénix was the first theatre which co-produced Les Particules… Today thanks to the European Creative Hub, le phénix is helping artists whose potentiel it detects. This is why it plays today a leading role on a national scale. I totally agree with le phenix’s belief that with contemporary demanding shows, an inexperienced audience can be seduced.

interview by Patrick Beaumont

What makes you a committed artist ? 
It may seem unimportant to our company because we tour a lot, but our region really does matter to us. First because it is where I was born and where I live – somewhere between Lille and Calais. I’ve also been spending two to three months a year in Valenciennes for three years. I need these sceneries, the Northern sea as well as the inland Flandres and Valenciennes… I need the melancholy they express, they are my inner and outer landscapes. When I am in Valenciennes, I always try and welcome the audience to my rehearsals. I like exchanging with people from all social landscapes. We now have a strong trusting relationship with the Valenciennes audience, a relationship that really means a lot to us.

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