The Little Girl in the Dark Forest

Η Μικρή μέσα στο Σκοτεινό Δάσος

de Philippe Minyana

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2021 archive

Pantelis Dentakis

Athènes / First time in France

Performance in greek with french and english surtitles

Two actors give life to the bloody myth of Procne and Philomela. The infinitely small clashes with the infinitely large and calls into questions relationships of power and domination.

The Little Girl in the Dark Forest, Pantelis Dentakis, 2021 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


On a miniature stage, the bloody myth of Procne and Philomela unfolds like a fantastic tale. Like chess players, two actors dictate the movements of five characters under the influence. But under whose influence? Of fate, of course. Pantelis Dentakis turns The Little Girl in the Deep Forest, a story adapted by Philippe Minyana from Ovid’s Metamorphosis, into an interdisciplinary show made up of theatre, micro-sculptures, video installations, and a terrifying musical accompaniment. The story unfolds over several levels of metaphorical and visual meaning, from the infinitely small to the infinitely large, between inanimate objects and the living, between lived experiences and projections. With its aesthetics borrowed from horror films, the work of the Greek director explores the relationship between the human and its own finiteness, as well as the stratagems we use to try to master the uncontrollable. And not without humour, he quotes a Greek proverb which argues for the greatest humility in our arrogant and manipulative society: “When mortals make plans, the gods laugh.”

Born in Besançon in 1946, Philippe Minyana has written about forty plays, among which Chambres (Chambers), La Maison des morts (The House of the Dead), La Petite dans la forêt profonde (The Little Girl in the Deep Forest), as well as opera librettos and radio plays broadcast on France Culture and France Inter. He has also worked as an actor and director, and was associate author with the Théâtre Dijon-Bourgogne from 2001 to 2006.

Summary of Ovid's myth
In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Procne is married to Tereus, the king of Thrace. After the birth of her son Itys, she wants to see her sister Philomela. Gone to Athens to fetch her, Tereus, captivated by her beauty, rapes her, cuts her tongue out, and locks her up in a sheep pen, before telling his wife that her sister died during the journey. Philomela decides to warn her sister by weaving a tapestry that tells of her ordeal. To avenge her, Procne has her sister brought to the palace, where they kill Itys, dismember him, and have him cooked and served to Tereus. When Tereus calls for his son, Procne tells him “Your son is with you,” upon which Philomela appears and throws Itys’s head onto the table. Blinded with rage, Tereus tries to pursue the fleeing sisters, but they turn into birds.


With Katerina Louvari-Fasoi, Polydoros Vogiatzis

Text Philippe Minyana
Translation Dimitra Kondylaki
Direction Pantelis Dentakis
Assistant direction Yorgos Kritharas
Sculpture Kleio Gizeli
Video and lights Apostolis Koutsianikoulis
Stage design Nikos Dentakis
Costumes Kiki Grammatikopoulou
Music Stavros Gasparatos in collaboration with  Yorgos Mizithras
Photography Domniki Mitropoulou

Surtitles powered
English translation Ioanna Papakonstantinou 
Technical management Panagiotis Fourtounis
Communication Yeorgia Zoumpa



Production Les Visiteurs du Soir, Black Forest, Polychoros KET, Neos Kosmos Theatre
With the support of the Institut français de Grèce

Practical infos



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Conversations à la maison

Le Festival côté livre
  • Literature
  • Encounter
With Lola Molina, Philippe Minyana, Ahmed Madani

The 2021 archive

Press conference - 21 July

  • Press conference
  • Pantelis Dentakis
  • Lola Lafon
  • Chloé Dabert
  • Madeleine Louarn
  • Jean-François Auguste
  • Nouveau Théâtre Populaire

The 2021 archive