• Theater musical
  • Show
  • Cancelled edition
The 2020 archive

Brett Bailey

Le Cap / First time in France

Brett Bailey transposes the myth of Samson to our modern times, with their hatred and violence, in a maelstrom of classical singing, sacred rituals, images, and bewitching rhythms.
Samson, Brett Bailey, 2020 © Nicky Newman


His people called him a saviour. More like a loaded gun...
In the darkness of the stage, a ceremony is about to begin. A man wearing a strange headdress stands in the centre of a circle, while a preacher tells the story of his life. Samson, hero of the Old Testament and child of Israel, lives under the brutal domination of the Philistines. Dedicated to God as a nazirite to free his people, he is forbidden from ever cutting his hair, the source of his extraordinary strength. His tragic love for two women of the enemy camp, including the spellbinding Dalila, will lead to humiliation, betrayal, and revenge. The South African director delves into this ancient story to transpose it as much to the time of the settlers as to our modern societies and their rampant capitalism, migration crises, and xenophobia. Caught in an exalted ritual trance, Samson becomes the symbol of the humiliation and repressed rage of enslaved peoples throughout the ages, one of the greatest figures of fury. Between classical singing, electronic beats, and walls of images, Brett Bailey leads us into a bewitching and apocalyptic world where violence and poetry reign.


With Shane Cooper, Mikhaela Kruger, Zanele Mbizo, Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, Apollo Ntshoko, Elvis Sibeko, Jonno Sweetman, Abey Xakwe, (in progress)

Text and distribution Brett Bailey
Choreography Elvis Sibeko
Music Shane Cooper
Stage design Brett Bailey, Tanya P. Johnson
Lights Kobus Rossouw
Video Kirsti Cumming
Sound Marcel Bezuidenhout


Production Third World Bunfight
With the support of National Lottery Commission (South Africa), French Institute in South Africa

Production administrators Barbara Mathers (Third World Bunfight), Sarah Ford (Quaternaire)

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