Pelleas and Melisande

By Maurice Maeterlinck

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2019 archive

Julie Duclos

Paris / Created in 2019

The forbidden and tragic love between two young people fate brings together and which leads to their doom.

Pelleas and Melisande © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


Melisande is a young woman on the run. To prince Golaud, who finds her crying in the woods and tells her of his status and lineage, she says she comes from far away. And it is with this person—and not with a story—that Golaud falls in love, taking care of her, marrying her, and bringing her to her grandfather's castle. There, Melisande meets Pelleas, the prince's half-brother. And that says it all. Or rather, all is unsaid, suggestion, and projection... What a fertile ground for forbidden love and the violent end it can but lead to. A structure halfway between heaven and earth, and which Julie Duclos wanted to inhabit. Because like Maurice Maeterlinck's writing itself, the characters are “concrete and poetic,” and often silent. To try to understand them, the director imagined a scenography mixing theatre and cinema, multiplying shots, axes, and angles. A dramatic process which leads to many revelations and elevations, and which reminds us that the Belgian symbolist always tried to see the world beyond appearances.

An actress who trained at the Conservatoire national supérieur d'art dramatique as well as an avid cinephile, Julie Duclos began her career as a director by working on improvisations with her company (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments, Masculin/Féminin [Male/Female], Nos Serments [Our Oaths]). She then directed a contemporary play, Dorothée Zumstein's MayDay. An associate artist of the Colline – Théâtre national until 2017 and of the Théâtre national de Bretagne, she is coming to the Festival d'Avignon for the first time with Pelleas and Melisande.

A poet, playwright, and essayist, Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949) saw theatre as a place where the soul faces destiny, and symbolism as the poetic form that would allow us to understand the world by looking past appearances. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work in 1911.

Pelléas et Mélisande by Maurice Maeterlinck is published by Le Livre de Poche et Espaces Nord.


With Vincent Dissez, Philippe Duclos, Stéphanie Marc, Alix Riemer, Matthieu Sampeur, Émilien Tessier
And alternating Clément Baudouin, Sacha Huyghe, Eliott Le Mouël
With the voices of the promotion X of the Théâtre national de Bretagne :
Hinda Abdelaoui, Olga Abolina, Laure Blatter, Clara Bretheau, Amélie Gratias,
Alice Kudlak, Raphaëlle Rousseau, Salomé Scotto, Mathilde Viseux,
Lalou Wysocka
(the servantes) and Émilien Tessier (the door keeper)

Text Maurice Maeterlinck
Direction Julie Duclos
Stage design Hélène Jourdan
Lights Mathilde Chamoux
Video Quentin Vigier
Sound Quentin Dumay
Costumes Caroline Tavernier
Assistant direction Calypso Baquey


Production L'In-Quarto
Co-production Théâtre national de Bretagne, Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe,
La Comédie de Reims, Centre dramatique national Besançon Franche-Comté,
Festival d'Avignon, Les Célestins Théâtre de Lyon, Comédie de Caen Centre
dramatique national de Normandie, La Filature Scène nationale de Mulhouse
With the support of Ministère de la Culture Drac Île-de-France,  Région Ile-de-France, Spedidam
With the help of the workshops of the Centre dramatique national Besançon
Franche-Comté, Théâtre du Nord Centre dramatique national Lille Tourcoing
Hauts-de-France, Comédie de Caen Centre dramatique national de
Normandie, Spedidam
Residencies La FabricA du Festival d'Avignon, Théâtre national de Bretagne, Odéon Théâtre de l'Europe
Julie Duclos is associated artist at the Théâtre national de Bretagne

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