For a long time, Jérôme Bel wanted to do a show on the memory of a theatre, on the memory of shows that would have been presented at it. We know that shows, stage performance properly speaking, leave nothing behind them except in the memory of the spectators who attended the performances. Because it is in fact the very nature of the live show to die, to disappear. Which is what creates both its grandeur and its weakness. It was in thinking of the Cour d'honneur of the Palais des papes, unquestionably one of the most symbolic theatre venues in France, that he imagined a solution: a show staging spectators who themselves relate their memories of this place and the shows they saw there. The spectators invited to take part in this project are theatre buffs or not. They are between 11 and 70 years old; they are students, teachers, graphic artists or nurses; they live in Vichy, Avignon, Paris or Clermont-Ferrand. Each in his or her own way, they offer an account of their experiences as spectators, good or bad. The challenges of this creation are therefore to attempt to quantify how shows are received by the spectators and to measure the influence of art on their life, thus in the Cour d'honneur. Because the spectator had to be given the place he or she deserved: the place of honour.
Conception and direction Jérôme Bel
Assisted by Maxime Kurvers
Texts by Euripide, Heinrich von Kleist, Jonathan Littell, Molière
With spectators Virginie Andreu, Elena Borghese, Vassia Chavaroche, Pascal Hamant, Daniel Le Beuan, Yves Leopold, Bernard Lescure, Adrien Mariani, Anna Mazzia, Jacqueline Micoud, Alix Nelva, Jérôme Piron, Monique Rivoli, Marie Zicari
And performers Isabelle Huppert, Samuel Lefeuvre, Antoine Le Ménestrel, Agnès Sourdillon, Maciej Stuhr, Oscar Van Rompay (in progress)
Médée d'Euripide, French translation by Myrto Gondicas and Pierre Judet de la Combe
Le Prince de Hombourg by Heinrich von Kleist, French translation by Jean Curtis
Les Bienveillantes by Jonathan Littell, Polish translation by Katarzyna Kaminska-Maurugeon
L'École des femmes by Molière
Philipoctus De Caserta (Codex Chantilly)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Thanks to Didier Bezace / Théâtre de la Commune, Reinout Bussemaker, Romeo Castellucci, Cidalia da Costa, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Pierre Fontes, Jean-Louis Mailles, Maison Jean Vilar, Christoph Marthaler, Marie-Josée Mas, Benoît Minvielle, Jean-Noël Obert, Colm O'Callaghan, Alice Pialoux, Alain Platel, Rosas, Björn Schmelzer – Graindelavoix, Johan Simons / NT Gent, Małgorzata Szczesniak, Nara Trochel, Lies van Assche, Anna Viebrock, Nina von Mechow, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Christophe Wavelet, Lina Zohair
The show was broadcasted live on France 2 on 19 July.
Production Festival d'Avignon
Coproduction France Télévisions, Association R.B. (Jérôme Bel)-Paris