A few words on the show supported by the European Creative Hub…
My play is not about Andromaque. Each character of the play – Andromaque, Hermione, Oreste and Pyrrhus – is his own subject. Each one is only concerned about his own story, his own pain
As I was preparing myself to speak about Racine at a symposium, I read that today, when you go to see a play by Racine, you’re going to « politely bore yourself frozen ». It is true most of the time, so I asked myself how to make Racine’s work more intelligible without having the ambition of turning a classical play into a contemporary one or reinventing Racine’s work. I really have something to say about how his work mirrors our time. In my point of view, drama is political and Andromaque is highly political.
My play is not about Andromaque. Each character of the play – Andromaque, Hermione, Oreste and Pyrrhus – is his own subject. Each one is only concerned about his own story, his own pain. I fused all four characters into one to show that they were all projecting their own loneliness and imprisonment.
The four characters come from different lands. They create romantic geopolitics where some frontiers are no longer clear. It feels like a theatrical poem made of four intertwined poems.
When people are no longer capable of talking to each other or sharing a territory, when everyone is isolating himself inside his frontiers, there are three possibilities left : you die like Hermione and Pyrrhus or you go crazy like Oreste or you become a tyrant like Andromaque who takes back the power in a bloodbath.
This story is about us today, a lost society looking upon his own fantasized decadence, constantly dwelling on its glorious past, its hopeless future, its lost hopes.
Racine was writing for a highly educated audience, his text is full of subtlety . What matters is that we give to today’s audience enough tracks to enable each person to benefit from the play. Besides, I want the audience to hear the true nature of Racines’s language by giving it back its craziness. I want to hear the rhythm of this perfect language.
With Denis Guéguin, one of Krzysztof Warlikowski’s legendary collaborators, we agree that video should not only be some aesthetic device. Each image should mean something. To echo the idea that the characters are contemplating their own image, each actor will film himself. It will provide another level of interpretation.
direction Damien Chardonnet-Darmaillacq
with Lauriane Escaffre, Gurshad Shaheman , Luc Cerutti, Xavier Bazin, Gilles Vandeweerd
video Denis Gueguin
music Esteban Fernandez (piano Benoit Capelle, cello Valentin De Francqueville)
scenography & costumes Aurélie Lemaignen (assistée de Corinne Meyniel pour les costumes)
general stage manager Rémi Cabaret
light design Rémi Cabaret, Damien Chardonnet-Darmaillacq
production le phénix scène nationale Valenciennes, pôle européen de création, Compagnie 7 Ans Plus Tard, Drac Hauts-De-France, Le Conseil Régional Des Hauts-De-France
coproduction Centre Dramatique National De Normandie-Rouen, Le Manège Scène Nationale de Maubeuge
supports Theatre de Chelles, Compagnie La Boutique Obscure, Le Théâtre de la Cité Internationale
> residency at le phénix September 2016, du 11 au 22 décembre 2017 et du 2 au 27 janvier 2018 et au CDN de Rouen du 28 août au 3 septembre 2017