Benjamin Walter

By Frédéric Sonntag

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The 2019 archive

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A European odyssey which begins like a police investigation and turns into an existential and literary quest.
Benjamin Walter © DR


A talented but secretive writer who long remained in the shadows, Benjamin Walter gave up on writing in June 2011, without explanation, at the young age of 30. A month later, he disappeared. In 2013, Frédéric Sonntag decided to investigate this mysterious disappearance. Halfway between documentary theatre, crime novel, and autobiographical fiction, his play Benjamin Walter is the result of this investigation throughout Europe. A journey from Helsinki to Lisbon which takes the form of a police investigation slowly turning into an existential quest and a literary puzzle. Benjamin Walter (traversée) is a new version of this play specifically rewritten for the radio.

A writer and director, Frédéric Sonntag founded the company ASANISIMASA upon graduating from the Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique. He has written and directed about fifteen plays. He just finished creating his “Phantom Trilogy”: George Kaplan (2013), Benjamin Walter (2015) and B. Traven (2018). He also works on the creation of performative forms and short forms focusing on the mythologies of popular culture, like Atomic Alert or the diptych Beautiful losers. Most of his plays have been published by Théâtre Ouvert / Tapuscrits and Éditions Théâtrales. They have been translated into twenty languages and performed in several countries. In 2019/2020, he will direct an adaptation of Jean-Claude Mourlevat's L'Enfant Océan (The Ocean Child), but also Black Village, based on a text by Lutz Bassman as part of the Instant Donné project with a score by Aurélien Dumond, and his latest play, D'autres mondes.


Text Frédéric Sonntag
With Kelly Rivière, Christophe Brault and Christophe Montenez de la Comédie-Française and the students from the ensemble 26 de l'ERACM : Léa Douziech, Juliette Evenard, Ana Maria Haddad Zavadinack, Thibaut Kuttler, Samuel Diot, Robin Redjadj

Direction Sophie-Aude Picon
Music Arthur B. Gillette
Text chosen by the Bureau de lecture de France Culture

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La Grande Table d'été

  • The Workshops of thought
With France Culture

The 2019 archive