Le Dernier Caravansérail (Odyssées) (The Last Caravanserai (Odysees))

by Théâtre du Soleil

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2003 archive

Théâtre du Soleil



In the Summer of 2001, Ariane Mnouchkine visited the holding centre for refugees at Sangatte, near Calais and recorded the accounts of the people there, their personal stories, their family tragedies. During her tour of Australia with Tambours sur la Digue (Drums on the Dyke) a few months later, she visited another camp in Sydney, and went on to Indonesia and New Zealand, all the time noting the tales of Afghani, Iranian, Iraqi or Kurdish refugees. Little by little she accumulated a hundred hours of recordings, which constituted the basic material for the Dernier Caravansérail (Odyssées). “Those who have not returned home, either dead or alive, wander for a long time all over the Earth.” writes Hélène Cixous. “And we, sitting in our relatively moderate countries, who are we ? Are we like them ? Their witnesses ? Their enemies ? Their friends ? People who used to travel and who have forgotten ? Or people for whom the voyage is waiting around the next corner ?”Ariane Mnouchkine who has been directing the Théâtre du Soleil for nearly forty years now, has gathered together thirty-five actors, twelve of them new to the troupe, in a collective new work. Travelling through their improvisations, the craftspeople of the Théâtre du Soleil invest clandestine figures, migrants and other victims of war. They take barbarity and make it the object of a study in an ardent theatre. Ariane Mnouchkine asks them to let images and sensations pass thought them. The rapport between the refugees' stories and the actors' improvisations seemed to be immediate. Ariane Mnouchkine had not played the witness accounts to the actors in order to preserve their “creative freedom”. However, when the improvisations were over, the recorded conversations often confirmed the actors' intuition. Le Dernier Caravansérail has been built collectively around a project manageress who says her role is merely to “let the creative actors express themselves”.Le Dernier Caravansérail unrolls the colossal fresco of exile that results from wartime periods. After La Ville Parjure, Le Réveil des Erynies, Et Soudain des Nuits d'Eveil, and Tambours sur la Digue, Ariane Mnouchkine and her crew take up once again the arms of poetry to ask questions about the responsibility of a world which ignores its people who are marginalized Ariane Mnouchkine says, “Theatre like Art belongs to those places which can make the world a better place. Like an orange grove makes the world a better place. Do you remember what the Afghans did when the first of their cities was liberated ? They immediately broadcast music and songs on the radio. Men started to shave, there were hopes for freedom from women too, there had to be songs on the radio... These are the little stories that make up Le Dernier Caravansérail...”


a play by :Shaghayegh Beheshti, Duccio Bellugi-Vannuccini, Virginie Bianchini, Charles-Henri Bradier, Sébastien Brottet-Michel, Juliana Carneiro da Cunha, Hélène Cixous, Virginie Colemyn, Olivia Corsini, Delphine Cottu, Eve Doe-Bruce, Maurice Durozier, Sarkaw Gorany, Astrid Grant, Emilie Gruat, Pascal Guarise, Jeremy James, Marjolaine Larranaga y Ausin, Jean-Jacques Lemêtre, Sava Lolov, Elena Loukiantchikova-Sel, Maïtreyi, Vincent Mangado, Jean-Charles Maricot, Judith Marvan Enriquez, Stéphanie Masson, Fabianna Mello e Souza, Ariane Mnouchkine, Serge Nicolaï, Seietsu Onochi, Nicolas Sotnikoff, Andreas Simma, Mathieu Rauchvarger, Francis Ressort, Edson Rodrigues, David Santonja-Ruiz, Koumarane Valavane
music :Jean-Jacques Lemêtre
scenography :Guy-Claude François
sets :Serge Nicolaï, Duccio Bellugi-Vannuccini
paintings: Didier Martin, Ysabel de Maisonneuve
costumes: Marie-Hélène Bouvet, Nathalie Thomas, Annie Tran


Un spectacle du :Théâtre du Soleil
en coproduction avec: la Ruhrtriennale (Allemagne)
Avec l'aide :du Festival d'Avignon

Practical infos