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The 2005 archive

Jacques Delcuvellerie

Belgium / Created in 2005

Anathème © Frédéric Nauczyciel / see-you-tomorrow


Jacques Delcuvellerie's theatre career is closely linked to that of Le Groupov, a collective organisation which he founded in 1980. Based in Liège, Le Groupov, is a group of artists who have different national and professional backgrounds whether they be actors, directors, video-makers or other performers, they are all constantly researching ideas about stage performance, its forms, its necessary role. A mixture of experimentation (for example their work in a forest) and performance, Le Groupov has also staged repertory plays (e.g. Heiner Müller, Paul Claudel or Bertolt Brecht), in a bid to find a way of showing the world which is not necessarily the same as that of those who are in charge and who are crushing it. Disturbed by the deafening silence, lies and disinformation that surrounded the genocide in Rwanda, both in Belgium and in France, Le Groupov, has proposed restoring to the theatre the incredible power of being the body and voice of those who are no longer here and of those who no-one wants to hear. They worked for four years on one show, Rwanda 94, which uses witness-accounts, pictures, music, song and literature in an attempted symbolic reparation for the dead that can be used by the living. Presented as a work in progress at the Avignon Festival in 1999, Rwanda 94 has since toured throughout the world and even reached Rwanda.

Jacques Delcuvellerie and his artists in Le Groupov want to take us back to contemplate one of the pillars of Western civilisation, to revisit "The Book", the Bible and in particular, the Old Testament. Since the divine word was revealed to Moses and the prophets, it has served to interpret events, structure states, justify policies, start wars, colonize and subjugate entire peoples on every continent. And still today, it is an excuse, for example, for conservative Evangelists in America to justify their fight against teaching children about Darwin's theories, for going on a crusade against the so-called "Axis of Evil" countries, to explain the tsunami which devastated part of Asia as being an act of God against countries and people who live immoral and debauched lives... Given this, isn't it time to ask ourselves about the way in which humans manufacture belief ? Shouldn't we be bold enough to ask ourselves if there isn't a link between monotheism and the bloody attempts to introduce "absolute" measures in the case of human experience? Le Groupov has already examined this question in their performance, Rwanda 94. Is it not necessary then to go back to the words of The Book to try, without giving a definitive answer to these two questions, to throw some light on how to go about asking these questions ? Working solely from a corpus of biblical texts where God is either seen as the great exterminator (see The Flood in the Book of Genesis for example) or as the commander of extermination (King Saul slaughtering the Amalekites for example), Jacques Delcuvellerie's prime goal is to bring out the word of this exclusive God, and nothing but their word. Using the body and the voices of the actors, the sound and images echo the strength and the violence of his ideas. He wants to make the theatre into the place where questions are asked in way that they are so rarely asked these days in everyday life, at a time when "holiness" is again, and increasingly, present in the repeated conflicts of our unquiet world.


Stage direction : Jacque Delcuvellerie
Cast : Abdel Bellabiad, Amandine Carlier, Laurent Caron, Marc Defrise, Françoise Fiocchi, Bernard Graczyk, Vincent Hennebicq, Francesco Italiano, Gilbert Letawe, Maryse Limbert, Elise Levron, Fabrice Murgia, Denis Mpunga, Charlotte Renwa, Laura Sepul, Maurice Taszman, Michèle Vgairginsky, Micheline Zanatta
Narrators : Jeanne Dandoy, Carole Karemera, Francine Landrain, Julien Roy, Maurice Sévenant, Alexandre Trocki
Singers : Julie Bailly, Magali Delmaë, Eva Oltivanyi
music composition : Garett List, Jean-Pierre Urbano
Dramaturg : Marie-France Collard
Assistant director : Nathanaël Harcq
Research and documentation : Marie-France Collard, Cécile Michel, Philippe Taszman
Scenography : Johan Daenen
Costumes : Greta Goiris
Sound conception : Jean-Pierre Urbano
Lighting : Marc Defrise, Frédéric Vannes


Production : le Groupov
En coporoduction avec : le Théâtre National, le Festival d'Avignon, le KunstenFESTIVAL desArts et le Théâtre de la Place
Avec le soutien : de Théâtre et Publics, du CGRI et de l'AWEX

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