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The 2018 archive

Anne-Cécile Vandalem

Bruxelles / Created in 2018

Seven people are on a boat. Thus begins the tense story of an expedition trapped in the climatic nightmare of the Far North.

Arctic © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


2025, somewhere in the freezing international waters. Interior night. Cold. The reception hall of a cruise liner. Even colder outside. Disturbing boarding for seven stowaways, between Denmark and Greenland. This is no love boat, but a cruise ship drifting away in a hostile environment scarred by global warming. What are they doing there? A former minister from Greenland, her ex-adviser, an environmental activist, a journalist, a businessman's widow, the ship's captain, and a teenage girl try to understand who so mysteriously brought them together and why. Is this a political thriller? A prophetic piece of ecological fiction? A claustrophobic dark comedy? A deadly journey? Halfway between theatre and cinema, in a gigantic set with an equally impressive backstage area, Anne-Cécile Vandalem leads us on an epic expedition with icily precise tension, in which both global warming and vengeance are dishes best served cold.

Anne-Cécile Vandalem
Anne-Cécile Vandalem is an actress, writer, and director. Born in Liège in 1979, she trained at the Royal Conservatory. In 2008, she founded Das Fräulein (Kompanie) and created (Self) Service, Habit(u)ation, and After the Walls (Utopia). She likes to mix genres and artistic forms. Her tragicomic world, inspired by cinema, is filled with personal tragedies, political fiction, and dreamlike stories. After Sadnesses, which met with acclaim at the 2016 edition of the Festival d'Avignon, Arctic continues a cycle about the failures of mankind.


With Frédéric Dailly, Guy Dermul, Éric Drabs, Véronique Dumont, Philippe Grand'Henry, Epona Guillaume, Zoé Kovacs, Gianni Manente, Jean-Benoît Ugeux, Mélanie Zucconi

Text and direction Anne-Cécile Vandalem
Dramaturgy Nils Haarmann, Sarah Seignobosc
Music  Pierre Kissling
Sound Antoine Bourgain
Stage design Ruimtevaarders
Lights Enrico Bagnoli
Video Federico D'Ambrosio
Costumes Laurence Hermant
Make-up, hairstyles Sophie Carlier
Accessories Fabienne Müller


Production Das Fräulein (Kompanie)
Coproduction Théâtre national Wallonie-Bruxelles, Théâtre de Namur, Théâtre de Liège, MARS/Mons Arts de la scène, Le Volcan Scène nationale du Havre, Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, La Comédie de Reims, La Comédie de Caen, Espace Jean Legendre Scène nationale de l'Oise en préfiguration (Compiègne), Célestins Théâtre de Lyon, Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, La Coop asbl & Shelter Prod (Bruxelles)
With the support of ING, tax shelter du gouvernement fédéral de Belgique, Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles
With the help of the ateliers décors et costumes du Théâtre national Wallonie-Bruxelles

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