by Sénèque

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2018 archive

Thomas Jolly

Rouen - Avignon / Created in 2018

A savage and supernatural tragedy in which the collapse of humanity takes place under the eyes of the youth.

Thyestes © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


Thyestes tells the story of a crime so awful, it reportedly altered the course of the sun's orbit when it heard it. While Atreus reins in peace over Mycenae, his twin brother Thyestes seduces his wife and steals the golden lamb. Atreus's fury leads to a savage vengeance: he feeds his brother his own children's flesh. The tragedy Thomas Jolly has chosen to adapt is Seneca's most extreme, most savage, and the one where the supernatural is most present. Its themes—adultery, theft, infanticide, and cannibalism—are impossible to represent, and the means invented to present them—pain, rage, and harmful intentions—implacable. Doubtless because Thyestes isn't the only victim of this attack that makes even thinking impossible... Atreus's sudden and radical transformation into a monster reflects the collapse of the order of the world. There is no more balance or harmony to be found. All that under the watchful eyes of the future, of “impotent youth faced with the chaos with which they will have to live and grow up.” Thyestes is a way for Thomas Jolly to talk about “the compact of mutual indulgence” which Seneca already defended a few thousand years ago.

At once a philosopher and a dramatist, Seneca was also Nero's tutor then adviser, and has had a large influence on western thought. As a Stoic, his philosophy is supposed to bring solace and self-mastery.


With Damien Avice, Éric Challier, émeline Frémont, Thomas Jolly, Annie Mercier, Charline Porrone, Lamya Regragui, Charlotte Patel (violoncelle), Caroline Pauvert (alto), Emma Lee, Valentin Marinelli (violons)
And la Maîtrise populaire de l'Opéra Comique et la Maîtrise de l'Opéra Grand Avignon

Text Sénèque
Traduction Florence Dupont
Direction Thomas Jolly
Artistic collaboration Alexandre Dain
Stage design Thomas Jolly, Christèle Lefèbvre
Music Clément Mirguet
Lights Philippe Berthomé, Antoine Travert
Costumes Sylvette Dequest
Make-up Élodie Mansuy
Assistanat à la mise en scène Samy Zerrouki


Production La Piccola Familia, Festival d'Avignon, Théâtre national de Strasbourg (TNS), La Comédie de Saint-étienne CDN
Coproduction ExtraPôle Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, La Villette (Paris), Théâtre de Caen, La Criée Théâtre national de Marseille, CDN de Normandie-Rouen, Théâtre de l'Archipel Scène nationale de Perpignan, Le Grand T théâtre de Loire-Atlantique, Célestins Théâtre de Lyon, anthéa théâtre d'Antibes, Le Liberté Scène nationale de Toulon
In partnership avec l'Opéra Comique, l'Opéra Grand Avignon
With the support of la Région Normandie, du Département de Seine-Maritime et pour la 72e édition du Festival d'Avignon : Fondation SNCF, Spedidam
With the help des ateliers de construction du Grand T et des ateliers costumes du Théâtre national de Strasbourg
With the participation of Make Up Forever
Résidences La FabricA du Festival d'Avignon, Théâtre national de Strasbourg, Comédie de Saint-étienne

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