text, concept, direction, choreography Pascal Rambert
with Emmanuelle Béart, Audrey Bonnet, Denis Podalydès (Comédie-Française associated), Stanislas Nordey and Claire Zeller
set design Daniel Jeanneteau
light design Yves Godin
music Alexandre Meyer
costumes design Raoul Fernandez, Pascal Rambert
assistant Thomas Bouvet
production director Pauline Roussille

T2G-Théâtre de Gennevilliers, centre dramatique national de création contemporaine
coproduction Festival d’Automne à Paris, Célestins Théâtre de Lyon, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, TAP-Théâtre Auditorium de Poitiers, Théâtre National de Strasbourg, La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand, scène nationale, CDN Orléans/Loiret/Centre, CNCDC de Châteauvallon, Le phénix scène nationale Valenciennes

Running time 2 hours and 15 minutes
National premiere
Played in French with Italian subtitles

Pascal Rambert brings on stage never-ending reactions triggering unexpected consequences. These emotional precipitates creating highly intense drama scenes. This was already true in his recent play Clôture de l’amour: Audrey Bonnet and Stanislas Nordey enacted the last breathtaking steps of a couple on the brink of divorce. The same both simple and fascinating method is adopted by Pascal Rambert to achieve here yet another moment of grace, no longer on love and parting, but on the subject of writing and artistic creation. The human being and the artist mingle to reveal in their naked truth. Audrey Bonnet and Stanislas Nordey have been called once more and they have been joined by Emmanuelle Béart and Denis Podalydès, to act in a show which bears likeness to an ”equation with no unknown”. In a rehearsal venue, Emmanuelle – actress –, Audrey – actress–, Denis – writer – and Stan – artistic director – live the last gasps of their artistic cooperation.
After Clôture de l’amour, Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione keeps on following the artistic path of Pascal Rambert and decides to produce an Italian version of Répétition with the title Prova. The piece will première next February at Teatro Storchi, Modena with the same protagonists of Clôture de l’amour, Anna Della Rosa and Luca Lazzareschi together with two other actors Laura Marinoni and Giovanni Franzoni.

Pascal Rambert was recently awarded with the annual Prize Emile Augier, Bronze Medal, for Literature and Philosophy for the text Répétition.

Pascal Rambert interviewed by Joelle Gayot and biography

Pascal Rambert interviewed by Joelle Gayot

While reading Répétition, one thinks of Clôture de l’amour, because the characters on stage bear the names of their actors. What is the purpose of this reminder to Clôture de l’amour?

For some time now I have stopped giving character names to the voices that I write for the actors. I write for voices and bodies rather than for characters. I think that each person is, as it was, the bearer of a figure. These figures, in the forenames of the actors, have some distinctive energy of their own and, when I write these forenames, I know who is speaking. I can hear and I can see them. It is real. They are real human beings, not paper or drama characters. Naturally what they disclose in Clôture de l’amour or in Répétition has nothing to do with their private lives. But each of them, has a personal vibration which allows me to open doors on an individual speech which will be their own throughout the play. I have always worked on the combination of bodies and voices in space. I work with certain tessiture (voice-heights) which sound special to my ear. It is totally subjective. For instance, in Clôture de l’amour the sound travelled from Stan to Audrey. There were two energies, one going from Stan to Audrey who caught it as if it was a terrible fire shot and reflect it back to him. In Répétition, there are direct energies, shooting one after the other, colliding, intermingling. It starts with Audrey’s energy which triggers Emmanuelle’s reaction, then reaches Denis to end up inside Stanislas’ body.

One of the characteristics of the text, the lack of punctuation, (like in Clôture de l’amour) reflects the endless stream of all in all. Past in present, fiction in reality, the Self in the Us, here in there, and viceversa. Does this reflect your vision of the world?

This “constant flow of all in all” reflects my vision of reality, of world, of life. I don’t believe in what is inside or outside borders; I believe in a moving flow between things and beings, even in the middle of conflict. I am possessed by the energy of life; I am not a sad or depressive being. I am optimistic and vigorous. I believe in this vital strength and this is what I try to convey through my artistic work; because, for me, this is what art is about. Art as a never ending flow, this force which fascinates me and that I accept today as a precious gift for my own life but also as something to share with the audience who have been watching my works during the last twenty years.

The title, the rehearsal, is the starting point of the play. However, is it not a mere alibi, an open situation likely to develop in different directions?

Répétition is a “screen title”. I would like to give the idea that one does not write plays on subjects. There is no such thing as a subject in life but a continuous seething, an endless turmoil which is beyond us, out of control, and endless spurting out of our inner selves. Art is in this constant spring, in the suppressed shout, in locked suffering which suddenly explodes; this shout, this part of the individual which suddenly unleashed, proclaims “I exist”. This is the very moment of artistic expression; I try to fence in this gushing stream, to give it consistence through the language. Something that allows us to express our suppressed ailing, our muted shouts. It does not mean that the actors start falling and rolling on stage or that we are in front of the original shout; no, it is all extremely structured by the language, but the language itself, even when closely articulated, can give shape to this “pure” rebellion of the human being who says “I am”.

Pascal Rambert, biography

Pascal Rambert (1962) is an author, artistic director, film director and choreographer. He has been directing since 2007 the T2G-Théâtre de Gennevilliers, which he transformed into a «centre dramatique national de création contemporaine». Pascal Rambert’s creations are performed internationally in Europe, North America, North Africa, Russia and Asia. Pascal Rambert’s texts are published in France by Solitaires intempestifs and translated, published in other languages: English, Russian, Italian, German, Japanese, Dutch, Mandarin, Croatian, Slovenian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Catalan. Pascal Rambert’s dance pieces, among which Memento Mori created in 2013 in collaboration with the light designer Yves Godin, perform in the main festivals and venues consecrated to contemporary dance, including Montpellier, Avignon, Utrecht, Geneva, Ljubljana, Skopje, Moscow, Hamburg, Modena, Freiburg and Tokyo. Since 2004, he has been directing several operas in France and in the USA, while his films were selected and awarded prizes at Locarno, Pantin, Miami and Paris Festivals. His last play, Clôture de l’amour, created in 2011 within the Festival d’Avignon, written for and starring Audrey Bonnet and Stanislas Nordey is a worldwide success. In 2012, the play received the «best drama creation in French language» award assigned by the syndicate for drama critics, and the «dramatic literature» award by the French National Center for Theater. In 2013, Pascal Rambert received the author award issued by the 1st Palmarès of Theatre. In September 2015, the play will have been shown more than 140 times. He has created nine versions of this play in nine different languages: in Russian at the Théâtre d’Art in Moscow, in English in New York, in Croatian in Zagreb, in Italian in Modena, Roma and at Piccolo Teatro in Milan, in Japanese in Shizuoka, Osaka, and Yokohama, in German in Berlin and at Hamburg’s Thalia Theater, in Spanish in Barcelona within the Grec International Festival as well as in Madrid within the Otoño Festival, in Danish in Copenhagen, Aalborg, Aarhus and Odense. After touring in France, Une (micro) histoire économique du monde, dansée, created at T2G Théâtre de Gennevilliers in 2010, is restaged by Pascal Rambert in Japan, Fujimi, Shizuoka et Miyazaki, in Germany, Hamburg and Karlsruhe, in the USA, New-York and Los Angeles, and soon in Pittsburgh, in Egypt, in Cairo. His last published text Avignon à vie was read by Denis Podalydès in the Cour d’Honneur of the Palais des Papes within the Festival d’Avignon 2013. He is currently working at Actrice which will be created in 2016 with the actors from the Théâtre d’Art in Moscow and at L’enlèvement d’Europe for the actors of the National Theatre of Zagreb. In January 2017, he will create Argument, a play written for Laurent Poitrenaux and Marie-Sophie Ferdane at the CDN Orléans/Loiret/Centre which will perform at La Comédie de Reims and T2GThéâtre de Gennevilliers. In June 2015, Pascal Rambert was at Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris to present five of his plays within the «Rambert à nu» event: the plays selected are Memento Mori, Clôture de l’amour, Avignon à vie, De mes propres mains and Libido Sciendi.