By Eduardo De Filippo and Pier Paolo Pasolini

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2019 archive

Irène Bonnaud

Avignon / Created in 2019

A wise man follows the star of Bethlehem, but the encounters he makes on the way come to supplant his quest. Christ is long dead…

Friendship, Irène Bonnaud, 2019 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


Largely unknown to the public, the friendship between Pier Paolo Pasolini and Eduardo De Flilippo was nevertheless deep. And the admiration of the great Italian poet, writer, and director for the Neapolitan actor and playwright such that the story's main character shares his name. The story? Eduardo—wise man by profession—is following a star guiding him to Bethlehem. Once there, he learns that Christ died years ago... A journey on which encounters are more important than the quest itself... To tell the story of Eduardo's long walk, motivated by hopes and utopias, Irène Bonnaud wanted to respect the spirit of a synopsis which never became film due to Pasolini's murder: a “philosophical road movie” in which the Pasolinian hero meets protagonists from De Filippo's work! A journey through styles and times, featuring three exceptional actors, in the great tradition of Italian artisanal theatre. Friendship is a comedy that rests on tragic hidden mechanisms, and which addresses the audience directly and without artifice, a strange history of the world.

A translator and playwright, Irène Bonnaud created her first professional show in 2002 for a festival dedicated to Heiner Müller. Her shows have allowed audiences to rediscover texts—for instance with the French creations of Heiner Müller's Tractor or John Osborne's The Entertainer, the meeting of Marcel Pagnol and the troupe of the Comédie-Française for Fanny, or her modern rereading of Aeschylus's The Suppliants. Her last show, Guerre des paysages (Landscape War), was based on testimonies from the Greek civil war.

Through his Roman work, poet Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) tried to ward off “the anthropological genocide” he saw in the project of our consumer society. As for the work of Neapolitan Eduardo De Filippo (1900-1985), it speaks of humanity by giving tragic accents to Italian comedy.


With François Chattot, Jacques Mazeran, Martine Schambacher

Texts Eduardo De Filippo, Pier Paolo Pasolini
Translation Hervé Joubert-Laurencin, Davide Luglio, Emanuela Pace
Direction Irène Bonnaud
Costumes Nathalie Prats
Lights and general manager Daniel Lévy
Assistant direction Katell Borvon


Production Festival d'Avignon
Co-production Châteauvallon Scène nationale, Centre dramatique national Besançon Franche-Comté, Centre dramatique national de Tours Théâtre Olympia, EPIC Hérault Culture - Théâtre sortieOuest, CCAS les Activités sociales de l'énergie, Espace des arts Scène nationale Chalon-Sur-Saône
Residency Lilas en scène
In partnership with France Bleu Vaucluse
Special thanks to Alain Gravier

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