L'Illusion comique

by Pierre Corneille

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2004 archive

Frédéric Fisbach

France / Created in 2004

L'Illusion comique © Bellamy / Festival d'Avignon


Since training at the Conservatoire National d'Art Dramatique and after a stint as an actor, Frédéric Fisbach has devoted himself in the past ten years, to directing both classical works (Jean Racine, Paul Claudel) and contemporary (Jean Genet, Oriza Hirata, Roland Fichet). He involves in his projects, performers from different disciplines (music, song, dance) and from different countries: he has worked in Japan and most recently also on the African continent. He is interested in stage crafts in general and likes to work on a wide variety of forms from chamber opera to court-yard shows. He says he wants to construct a public space in a public time-span for a range of spectators. Since 2002, he has been at the head of the Studio-Théâtre de Vitry where he has set up a laboratory. At the Avignon Festival, he has already staged Racine's Bérénice and will be the Festival's Associate Artist in 2007.

L'Illusion comique (The Comical Illusion)
Frédéric Fisbach's team takes on “a strange monster” as Corneille himself called it. A tragical comedy, a comical jester's show, a bucolic tragedy... Written between Medea and The Cid by a young man of 29, L'Illusion Comique (1635) is all at once an epic, a portrait gallery, a tribute to theatre and one of the most efficient enterprises in confusion of truth and illusion. Theatre within theatre, trompe-l'?il, double illusion: here, Corneille's arrangements provide an opportunity for numerous effects of truth. For Frédéric Fisbach, staging L'Illusion Comique today does not mean turning a classical play into a contemporary one, instead it means conveying the strange familiarity of language that is 369 years-old: harking back to Baroque writing, as close to Rabelais as to Racine's intricate alexandrins, the beautiful impurities, snatches of ordinary street talk that haven't been pressed through the filter of the Acadamie Française. Fisbach also restores meaning to words that have disappeared from use, vehicles the emotion of a language revived, explores the status of the spectator and rediscovers the force of interweaving reality and pretence by, day after day, alternating roles and actors who have their specially designated “comment space” in which they can share their feelings and impressions during the performances.


stage direction Frédéric Fisbach
cast : Hiromi Asaï, Valérie Blanchon, Christophe Brault, Pierre Carniaux, Alexis Fichet, Wakeu Fogaing, Sophie-Pulchérie Gadmer, Laurence Mayor, Giuseppe Molino, Benoît Résillot
scenography : Emmanuel Clolus
costumes : Olga Karpinsky
lighting : Daniel Lévy
assistant directors : Alexis Fichet, Sophie-Pulchérie Gadmer


coproduction : Studio-théâtre de Vitry, Festival d'Avignon, Théâtre Dijon Bourgogne - Centre dramatique national, Théâtre national de Strasbourg, La Coupe d'Or - Scène conventionnée de Rochefort, Espace Malraux - Scène nationale de Chambéry, Centre dramatique régional de Tours
avec le soutien : de la Région Île-de-France

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