by Tom Lanoye

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The 2008 archive

Guy Cassiers

Anvers / Created in 2008

Atropa © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


From his graphic arts studies, Guy Cassiers has retained the desire to make images, using all the new media and in particular video. Preferring to work on literary adaptations, he has travelled through the works of Marguerite Duras, Salman Rushdie, Marcel Proust and Jeroen Brouwers. In atypical venues, with actors, plastic artists and scenographers, he has created shows, between the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium, whose centre of gravity is often memory. Director of the RO Theater of Rotterdam from 1998 to 2006, he was appointed director, in 2006, of the Toneelhuis in Antwerp, which he runs with six creators whom he chose, including Benjamin Verdonck and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, also invited to the Festival d'Avignon this year.

Guy Cassiers presented Sunken Red by Jeroen Brouwers in 2006 and Mefisto for ever by Tom Lanoye in 2007 at the Festival d'Avignon. Jeroen Olyslaegers was a film critic, radio chronicler and actor. He now writes plays. A playwright at the Toneelhuis, Erwin Jans teaches at the university, runs the review Freespace Nieuwzuid and publishes in various periodicals.

A novelist, poet, lecturer, columnist and playwright, Tom Lanoye fights against the corruption of minds in a region where the extreme right is a genuine danger. He became known through his adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedies in a single play. He has recently written Mamma Medea, Fort Europa and Mefisto for ever.

Atropa The Vengeance of Peace, the part that closes the Triptych of Power, returns to the mother of all wars, the unfortunately famous Trojan War. Tom Lanoye and Guy Cassiers have adapted, with complete freedom, the great Greek tragedies. They focused on Agamemnon, the commander of the Greeks, and the women whom he has made victims. His beautiful sister-in-law Helen, who provides him with the excuse to start a war. His daughter Iphigenia, whom he sacrifices to guarantee favourable winds for his fleet. His wife Clytemnestra whose pleas he refuses to listen to. And lastly, three Trojan women (the Queen Hecuba, his daughter Cassandra and his daughter-in-law Andromache) whose husbands, brothers and sons he kills. In a new, powerful and unexpected ending, all these women defy Agamemnon and show him the ultimate failure of his power. Although copied almost word for word from George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld's speeches, Agamemnon's arguments are timeless: the logic of war prevails whatever the era. The fall of Troy, known in antiquity as the “City of Towers” represents the attack on Manhattan as much as the bombings of Baghdad and Bassora.


mise en scène: Guy Cassiers
texte: Tom Lanoye
d'après: Euripide, Eschyle, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Curzio Malaparte
avec: Katelijne Damen, Gilda De Bal, Vic De Wachter, Abke Haring, Marlies Heuer, Ariane Van Vliet
dramaturgie: Erwin Jans
concept esthétique, scénographie: Enrico Bagnoli, Diederik De Cock, Arjen Klerkx
costumes: Tim Van Steenbergen
production: Toneelhuis


production: Toneelhuis
coproduction: Théâtre de la Ville-Paris, Festival d'Automne à Paris, MC2: Maison de la culture de Grenoble, Linz09 Capitale européenne de la Culture, deSingel (Anvers), Festival d'Avignon, Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg, Maison de la Culture d'Amiens –Centre de création et de production
avec le soutien: des autorités flamandes et de la Ville d'Anvers

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