Those who wander aren’t wrong

by Kevin Keiss - based on Seeing by José Saramago

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The 2016 archive

Maëlle Poésy

Chalon-sur-Saône / Created in 2016

Those who wander aren’t wrong © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


When most of the population decides to vote blank, the government, amazed, is thrown into a panic. They were convinced they would be easily reelected, but instead have to face the apocalypse. The ministers meet to try to understand what happened. Is it a conspiracy? Who would have planned it? What exactly is a blank vote anyway, and what does it mean? How should they react? Panic-stricken, they declare a stage of exception and task the director of the department of Truth with investigating the situation. Meanwhile, a maverick journalist films the private consequences of this political cataclysm. Watching characters trapped both within the disorder of their own conscience and within a system about to topple, Maëlle Poésy asks the audience whether democracy still allows for dialogue. In order to delve into that question while keeping a certain distance, she has imagined, along with writer and playwright Kevin Keiss, a fantastic comedy that plays on the absurdity and the inner logics of the democratic system. A revolution through the ballot box that allows us to gauge the ever-increasing gap between the two Greek roots of the word democracy, power on the one hand, and the people supposed to hold it on the other. Thanks to, or because of, the consequences of a single vote, the young director studies, in this all-too-realistic fiction, the notions of representation, incarnation, and dialogue. Because to continue to dialogue is already to refuse to be robbed of one's power.

A postdoctoral researcher in classical literature and a specialist in ancient theatre, Kevin Keiss —author, translator, teacher, director, and playwright— met Maëlle Poésy at the École supérieure d'art dramatique du Théâtre national de Strasbourg, where he studied from 2008 to 2011. Since then, he has collaborated on all her projects, most notably writing Candide Si c'est ça le meilleur des mondes..., adapted from Voltaire. In 2015, for that creation, Kevin Keiss became artist-in-residence at the Centre national des écritures du spectacle (CNES) at the Chartreuse of Villeneuve lez Avignon.

An autodidact hailing from a humble family, José Saramago (1922-2010) published his first novel, Land of Sin, in 1947. His talent wasn't recognised until the publication in 1980 of Raised from the Ground, forcing him to work various jobs in the publishing and print media industries. A member of the Communist Party who played an active role in the Carnation Revolution, his political positions transpire in a body of work that includes prose, poetry, essays, and plays. He is the only Portuguese writer to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1988.


Text Kevin Keiss in collaboration with Maëlle Poésy
Direction Maëlle Poésy
Dramaturgy Kevin Keiss
Stage design Hélène Jourdan
Lights Jérémie Papin
Sound Samuel Favart-Mikcha
Costumes Camille Vallat
Video Victor Egea

With Caroline Arrouas, Noémie Develay-Ressiguier, Marc Lamigeon, Roxane Palazzotto, Cédric Simon, Grégoire Tachnakian


Production Espace des Arts Scène nationale Chalon-sur-Saône
Co-production Compagnie Crossroad (Drôle de Bizarre), Théâtre du Gymnase Marseille, Théâtre Dijon Bourgogne Centre dramatique national, Le Phénix Scène nationale de Valenciennes, Théâtre-Sénart Scène nationale, Théâtre de Sartrouville et des Yvelines Centre dramatique national, Le Rive Gauche (Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray)
With the support of creation of Centre national du théâtre
With the artistic contribution of Jeune Théâtre National
Artistic residences La Chartreuse of Villeneuve lez Avignon, La Gare Franche (Marseille)

Those who wander aren't wrong by Kevin Keiss and Maëlle Poésy is published by éditions Actes Sud-Papiers.
Seeing by José Saramago, translation Geneviève Leibrich is published by éditions Seuil et Points.
Those who wander aren't wrong is subject to a Pièce (dé)montée, pedagogical file created by Canopé.

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