Swamp Club

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2013 archive

Philippe Quesne

Paris / Created in 2013

Swamp Club © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


Watching the characters in Philippe Quesne's shows evolve is taking the pulse of the human. It is also entering surprising tableaux vivants in which the time of the action has been greatly slowed down to better let invisible presences develop. For its 10th anniversary, the Vivarium Studio's troupe is reactivating more than ever the idea of the community of artists, opening its doors to dancers, actors and plastic artists met by chance during tours as well as a locally recruited chamber music group. For his new creation, Philippe Quesne decided on the fable and imagined an art and residence centre for artists, the Swamp Club. In the middle of a swamp peopled with creatures and other will-o'-the-wisps, this meditation and creation venue lives peaceably withdrawn from the speed of the world, until the day when its director learns that the centre is threatened by an urban project that might doom it to destruction. Swamp Club talks about our responsibility to remain autonomous and the resistance capacity that this implies. Going from melancholy to revolt, Philippe Quesne's protagonists query the share of resignation that patience carries within it, at a period when waiting and passivity are raised as watchwords. Based on this tale imagined as an opera libretto, Swamp Club lets the accents of Shostakovich and Schubert ring out, to offer us a space and time of resistance. Drawing as much from contemporary cultural militancy as from the worlds of superheroes, inspired by mythic European figures like that of Robin Hood, Vivarium Studio's comical show shows us a certain way of doing art, producing plays and living together. In sets that are both fantastic and realistic, where the universe of the bestiary exists alongside that of politics, the small utopian community of artists organizes its own defence. A resistance carried by the lyrical surges of a string quartet and the plurality of languages invited on stage, wrinkling the inert surface of an uncertain pond. MS


conception, direction and scenography Philippe Quesne
artistic collaboration Yvan Clédat, Cyril Gomez-Mathieu
direction assistant Marie Urban
costumes Corine Petitpierre

with Isabelle Angotti, Snæbjörn Brynjarsson, Yvan Clédat, Cyril Gomez-Mathieu, Ola Maciejewska, Émilien Tessier, Gaëtan Vourc'h and the quartet Odéon


production Vivarium Studio
coproduction Festival d'Avignon, Wiener Festwochen (Vienne), Théâtre de Gennevilliers Centre dramatique national de création contemporaine, Festival d'Automne à Paris, Foreign Affairs Berliner Festspiele (Berlin), La Ménagerie de Verre (Paris), Le Forum Scène conventionnée de Blanc-Mesnil, Kaaitheater (Bruxelles), La Filature Scène nationale de Mulhouse, Internationales Sommerfestival (Hambourg), Festival Theaterformen (Hanovre-Braunschweig), La Bâtie Festival de Genève
avec le soutien du Centre chorégraphique national de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon, de EMPAC Experimental Media
and Performing Arts Center (Troy, États-Unis), de la Région Île-de-France et de la Spedidam
avec la participation artistique du Jeune théâtre national

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