This version of Racine's Phèdre could be subtitled “a mischievous and unusual conference.” The theatre becomes classroom, and as Romain Daroles turns into a passionate young professor trying to communicate his burning passion for Phèdre, we can't help but laugh. Alone on the stage and armed only with a book, the actor plays all the characters and gives us to see once again the power of the passions at work in the play. With his infectious enthusiasm for classic French, he recalls with panache the mythological lineage of the characters, untangles the complex plot, deciphers the wondrous beauty of the Alexandrines... The exclamation point—or “admiration” point, as it was then called—added to the title highlights the astonishment of the director and his performer and their love for a theatre that still feels just as alive today as it did back then. With great humour, François Gremaud attacks evil at its “Racine” and turns this great classic tragedy into a modern and joyful odyssey. The drama that unfolds here turns out to be an ode to life and joy.
Born in 1975, François Gremaud is a Swiss writer, director, and actor who lives and works in Lausanne. After training as a director at the INSAS in Brussels, he founded in 2005 the 2b company, a production structure for his own creations such as Re (2012) or Conférence de choses (2013) [Conference of things], but also for those of the Gremaud/Gurtner/Bovay collective like Chorale (2013) [Choir] or Western dramedies (2014). He creates unique, poetic, and hilarious worlds to amaze his audience. François Gremaud likes to say that searching for joy is as much a poetic as a political act.
Created in 1677 and since then performed by many of the greatest actors, Phèdre is Racine's most famous tragedy. In this flagship work of the classic era, the author tackles ancient themes and tells of the devastating effects of passion and impossible love, between fatality and divine malediction, in order to inspire horror and pity.
With Romain Daroles
Conception, Direction François Gremaud
Text Jean Racine, François Gremaud
Lights Stéphane Gattoni
Direction assistant Mathias Brossard
Production 2b company, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne
With the support of Ville de Lausanne, Canton de Vaud, Loterie Romande, Pour-cent culturel Migros, Hirzel Stiftung, Pro Helvetia, CORODIS et une fondation privée genevoise
As part of Sélection suisse en Avignon, a Pro Helvetia and CORODIS project, with the support of Fachausschuss Tanz & Theater de Bâle,
Ville et Canton de Berne, République de Genève,
Ville de Lausanne et Canton de Vaud, Commune de Valangin
et Canton de Neuchâtel, Société Suisse des Auteurs (SSA),
Fondation Ernst Göhner, Pour-cent culturel Migros,
Fondation Jan Michalski pour l'écriture et la littérature
et Consulat général de Suisse à Marseille.