The castaways of the frigate Méduse: a human tragedy and a high-stakes trial at the top of the French state against the background of colonisation. Two hundred years later, what do we know of this now-symbolic tragic event, beyond Théodore Géricault's painting? Using statements made by two survivors they meticulously read and analysed, the collective Les Bâtards dorés invite us to experience the 1816 trial judging the violent fight that pit officers and soldiers against one another, and the cannibalistic acts of the survivors. Abandoning the traditional opposition between the room and the stage, they draw the audience into an immersive experience, making them part of the action as witnesses and judges of the events. “Méduse explores humanity in extreme situations. When standing on the edge of the abyss, how does man reveal his true nature: by sharing, competing, or reverting to animalistic behaviour?” Les Bâtards dorés give centre stage to the very essence of human relationships, stripped bare by terror and survival instinct. Are we the allies of those communities currently drifting away? Are we but powerless watchers as our age comes to an end?
Les Bâtars dorés
Méduse was awarded both the Jury and the Audience Prizes during the Festival Impatience in 2017, and the collective Les Bâtards dorés are giving the audience of the Festival d'Avignon the chance to discover this second creation. For their first show, Princes (2015), the five actors and the lighting designer, graduates of different drama schools—the Epsad in Lille, the Ensad in Montpellier, the ENSATT in Lyon, and the ESTBA in Bordeaux—already loosely adapted Dostoevsky's The Idiot to tell the story of a lost community. They love to use non-dramatic texts exploring human nature to place the reader/audience at the very heart of the dramatic act, of the decision-making process.
Avec Romain Grard, Lisa Hours, Jules Sagot, Manuel Severi et à l'image Christophe Montenez de la Comédie-Française
Conception, direction and stage design Les Bâtards dorés
Text Les Bâtards dorés
After Le Naufrage de la Méduse of Alexandre Corréard and Jean-Baptiste Savigny and with an extract of Ode Maritime de Fernando Pessoa (traduction Dominique Touati)
Music Lény Bernay
Painting Jean-Michel Charpentier, Charlotte Puzos
Lights Lucien Valle
Production Les Bâtards dorés
With the support of the Oara Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Studios de Virecourt
In partnership with le théâtre de la Loge (Paris), Iddac, Cie Dodeka