En enfer (In Hell)

by Reza Baraheni

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2004 archive

Thierry Bédard

France / Created in 2004

En enfer © Bellamy / Festival d'Avignon


Co-founder of the Association Notoire (Association of the Notorious) in 1989 and director of the Bibliothèque Censurée (The Censored Library) cycle, Thierry Bedard is someone who unceasingly questions societies where the “assassination of thought” - in the words of Hermann Broch, 1934 - is at work. After having worked on a tribute to the International Writers' Parliament, an organisation that showed artistic solidarity with censored writers the world over, Thierry Bedard met Reza Baraheni, an Iranian literary theorist and encyclopaedist whose fragmented works of poetry lie on the edges of imagination and reality. Born in 1935 in Tabriz, arrested and tortured in 1973 for protesting against censorship under the Shah of Iran, then assaulted and exiled by the Islamist regime of Ayatollah Khomeiny, Reza Baraheni is today a refugee in Canada where he teaches at the University of Toronto. A prolific and learnèd author, his rich body of work – some fifty pieces today – has become a reference for a new generation of Iranian intellectuals.

En enfer (In Hell)
Installed and divided up into several camps of fortune separated by the canvas of the refugee camps, the audience is placed in a universe of asides. For as long as it takes to tell a terrible tale, a season in hell. In each cell in this dormitory of humanity's dreams and nightmares, an actor dissects the first fifty pages of young Ayyâz' The Seasons in Hell, a romanesque fiction story written by Reza Baraheni where a slave battles with his master who asks him to torture a victim during a ritual where sex and fear interlock within the mysticism that surrounds limitlessness. The chorus of a “sinister people”, a “pack of howling dogs” demand the cruelty begin. Echos and utterings, a language that oozes and groans most sensitively, cries of pain and cries of love intertwined, suffering and orgies, litany and entangled voices: Thierry Bedard takes us into the “grey zone” between humanity and barbarianism. In Hell makes an artistic study of the physical and social body through Reza Baraheni's corporal and literary dismembering. A proclamative people “advances in the middle of a sand storm,” writes Reza Baraheni, with the age-old art of story-telling. “It's as if all the people in History found themselves stuck in an hour-glass, a hot and rough sea of sand. It's History in its entirety which advances on us across this desert.”


stage direction Thierry Bédard
cast : Marie-Charlotte Biais, Sylvia Etcheto, Thomas Gonzalez, Hélène Iratchet, Vincent Macaigne, Mounir Margoum, Julien Mulot
lighting : Jean-Louis Aichhorn
sound : Jean-Pascal Lamand
assistant director : Perrine Maurin


production : notoire / la Bibliothèque Censurée, Bonlieu - Scène nationale d'Annecy avec le soutien du jeune théâtre national et du Fonds d'insertion des jeunes artistes dramatiques de la Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
avec l'aide de : la Ferme du Buisson, Scène nationale de Marne-la-Vallée
le roman de Reza Baraheni est publié aux éditions Pauvert

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