The french teacher

by Marie NDiaye

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2021 archive

Frédéric Bélier-Garcia

Paris / Created in 2021

Inspired by a true story, Marie NDiaye creates a shining inner monologue. An evocation of the fragility and power of the feminine, a chiaroscuro portrait of a woman performed by Nicole Garcia.

Royan - The french teacher, Frédéric Bélier-Garcia, 2021 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


On a beautiful late afternoon in Royan, a woman is going home in the golden light of the boulevard. She's coming back from the school where she teaches French when she sees a couple standing up ahead on her doorstep. They're not saying anything, but she recognises them as the parents of one of her students. She doesn't want to see them, petrified both by her determination and by the memories coming back to her. In this double effort to talk about a tragedy while keeping it at arm's length, she speaks about her student Dalila as she saw and loved her, but most of all about herself. Inspired by the true story of a bullied teenager who committed suicide, novelist and playwright Marie NDiaye creates a shining inner monologue. Written for Nicole Garcia, Royan is a chiaroscuro portrait of femininity, in which the vertigo of words expresses the all-consuming violence of human relationships and the prodigious effort we have to exert to get the world to accept us.

Discovered by Jérôme Lindon when she was only seventeen, Marie NDiaye published her first novel, Quant au riche avenir, in 1985. Since then, she has written over twenty novels, short stories, and plays, among which Rosie Carpe (prix Femina 2001) and Three Strong Women, which won the Prix Goncourt in 2009. In 2003, her play Papa doit manger became part of the repertoire of the Comédie-française. Marie NDiaye is published by Gallimard.


With Nicole Garcia

Text Marie NDiaye
Direction Frédéric Bélier-Garcia
Lights Dominique Bruguière
Sound Sébastien Trouvé
Set Jacques Gabel
Costumes Camille Janbon
Artistic collaboration Sandra Choquet, Vincent Deslandres, Caroline Gonce
Lights assistant Pierre Gaillardot


Production Les Visiteurs du soir, Compagnie Ariètis 2
Co-production Festival d’Avignon, Théâtre national de Nice CDN Nice Côte d’Azur, La Criée Théâtre national de Marseille, Espace Jean Legendre Théâtre de Compiègne, Théâtre de la Ville – Paris, La Comète Scène nationale de Châlons-en-Champagne, La Maison (Nevers) Scène conventionnée Arts en territoires en préfiguration, Théâtre de Villefranche-sur-Saône Scène conventionnée art et création
With the help of La Ferme du Buisson Scène nationale de Marne-la-Vallée, Espace Michel Simon – Noisy-le-Grand
Residencies La Ferme du Buisson Scène nationale de Marne-la-Vallée, Espace Michel Simon – Noisy-le-Grand
Co-hosting Festival d’Avignon, La Chartreuse-CNES de Villeneuve lez Avignon

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The 2021 archive