Les Marchands (The Traders)

by Joël Pommerat

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The 2006 archive

Joël Pommerat

France / Created in 2006

Les Marchands © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


Writer-director Joël Pommerat works with the Compagnie Louis Brouillard which he founded in 1990. Together, they create the plays he writes from start to finish.
Pommerat believes that writing for the stage does not end with the first day of rehearsals, to the contrary, it continues with the work with the actors, as much as with work on the scenography, lighting and sound.
Often described as “personal theatre”, Joël Pommerat's theatre is also ‘ theatre of the real', a sort of theatre that is deeply involved in our time. It is pure, meticulous craftsmanship where accuracy of gesture responds to the aptness of the spoken words to create and maintain a permanent link between the stage and the hall.
Since 1990, their fifteen plays (including Des Suées, Pôles, Treize étroites têtes, Mon ami, Grâce à mes yeux and D'une seule main) have taken Joël Pommerat and his company down this path, developing their original and disciplined approach which episode after episode, constructs a theatre universe which is familiar and mysterious, woven from unforgettable images..

Joël Pommerat presents Les Marchands (The Traders), the last play in a trilogy which began with Au monde (In The World) and suggests that we look at this world of people who are “buried under a lack of money”. He makes us hear the voice of these women and men who are often condemned to silence, who are the worst hit by the disappearance of a value which used to be the absolute reference for stability in social order – ‘work'.
Ghosts pass through this tragedy which is peopled with men and women who are off-balance, but never sinking into misery, never demagogic. A series of scenes sometimes composed like paintings, where every detail counts, Les Marchands once again brings us in contact with the reality of the world through the personal lives exposed, told. We are facing eye-to-eye with these characters on stage who are there to tell us, each one in their own way, about a moment in the life of a woman whose social life gradually disintegrates at the same time as her relationship with herself and with others disintegrates. Refusing to disappear and be forgotten, she goes to seek a sacrifice, just like a heroine from antiquity, in a gesture that is at the same time liberating and terrible, in order to save those who, like herself, lose themselves when they lose their job.
In complete control of the stage, with actors entirely invaded with the author's words, Joël Pommerat offers, little-by-little, with brief tableaux, a straightforward reflection on this ‘new' world where the only recognised and justified criterion - economic profitability - may crush these Marchands.
Jean-François Perrier


texte et mise en scène : Joël Pommerat
avec : Saadia Bentaïeb, Agnès Berthon, Lionel Codino, Éric Forterre, Murielle Martinelli, Ruth Olaizola, Marie Piemontese, Jean-Claude Perrin
scénographie et lumières : Éric Soyer
suivi de la réalisation scénographique et accessoires : Thomas Ramon
costumes : Isabelle Deffin
implantation sonore et réalisation de l'écriture sonore : François Leymarie
réalisation de l'écriture sonore et régie son : Grégoire Leymarie
conseiller musical : Alain Besson
direction technique : Emmanuel Abate
régie plateau : Gildas Burille, Jean-Pierre Costanziello, Mathieu Mironnet
assistanat lumières et régie lumières : Jean-Gabriel Valot


Production : Compagnie Louis Brouillard
en coproduction avec l'Espace Malraux - Scène nationale de Chambéry et de la Savoie, le Théâtre national de Strasbourg, le Centre dramatique national de Normandie - Comédie de Caen, le Centre dramatique national d'Orléans-Loiret-Centre, le Théâtre Paris-Villette, le Théâtre Brétigny - Scène conventionnée du Val d'Orge et Arcadi - Action régionale pour la création artistique et la diffusion en Île-de-France
Joël Pommerat est artiste associé à l' Espace Malraux-Scène nationale de Chambéry et de la Savoie
avec le soutien de : la Région Ile-de-France
texte publié : aux éditions Actes Sud-Papier

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