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The 2016 archive

Anne-Cécile Vandalem

Brussel / Created in 2016

Sadnesses © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


Just as she's about to be named Prime Minister, Martha Heiger, the leader of the Popular Awakening Party, has to return to her native island, Tristesses, to bury her mother, found dead in puzzling circumstances. She finds her village ruined after the collapse of the Muspelheim abattoirs, and decides to use the situation to lay the foundations of a propaganda project. Meanwhile, far from the limelight, two teenage girls decide to take up arms... Inspired by the violent rise of various brands of nationalism in Europe, Anne-Cécile Vandalem's latest creation dissects with humour what she sees as one of the most formidable “weapons” of modern politics, the “saddening of peoples.” How? By inextricably weaving together sadness and social comedy, politics and moral investigations, emotion and her own acts of resistance. Turning this fable into a Nordic thriller, animist and supernatural, the director brings together fiction and reality, the theatre and the cinema, the living and the dead. A thriller in which the past and the present collide, in which characters are caught in situations at once funny and cruel, in which the insidious power of the media reigns supreme. “One of the states of sadness.”


Conception, writing and direction Anne-Cécile Vandalem
Music Vincent Cahay, Pierre Kissling
Stage design Ruimtevaarders
Sound Jean-Pierre Urbano
Lights Enrico Bagnoli
Video Arié van Egmond
Director of photography Federico d'Ambrosio
Costumes Laurence Hermant
Makeup Sophie Carlier
Creation assistant Sarah Seignobosc

With Vincent Cahay, Anne-Pascale Clairembourg, Epona Guillaume, Séléné Guillaume, Pierre Kissling, Vincent Lécuyer, Bernard Marbaix, Catherine Mestoussis, Jean-Benoit Ugeux, Anne-Cécile Vandalem, Françoise Vanhecke


Production Das Fräulein (Kompanie)
Co-production Théâtre de Liège, Volcan Scène nationale du Havre, Théâtre national de Bruxelles, Théâtre de Namur centre dramatique, Le Manège.Mons, Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy, Maison de la Culture d'Amiens European Center of creation and production, Les Théâtres de Marseille – Aix-en-Provence and as part of the project Prospero : Théâtre national de Bretagne, Théâtre de Liège, Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz (Berlin), Göteborgs Stadsteatern, Théâtre national de Croatie, World Theatre Festival Zagreb, Festival d'Athènes and d'Epidaure, Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, Wallonie-Bruxelles International
With the support of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles / Theatre Service, Wallonie-Bruxelles International
With the help of ESACT École Supérieure d'Acteurs de Liège, la HALTE (Liège)

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