Phia Ménard, Jean Cocteau & Philip Glass

Les enfants terribles

Les enfants terribles
Les enfants terribles

10.02 – 11.02.2023

In her version of Les enfants terribles, director and performer Phia Ménard works with composer Philip Glass' adaptation of the novel of the same name. Ageing and degenerative diseases are the focus of this musical performance. Ménard draws a parallel between the body of an adolescent and that of an elder: both sometimes experience a feeling of isolation, of being cut off from society.

To this day, Jean Cocteau's masterpiece Les enfants terribles continues to inspire. The novel tells the story of Paul and his sister Elisabeth during the interwar period in Paris, who nauseatingly challenge each other to with games. It is a timeless tableau of adolescence, full of dreams and venom, that takes place entirely in one and the same room.

The 1950 film adaptation of the book by Jean-Pierre Melville inspired composer Phillip Glass in the 1990s to adapt the story into an opera for four voices and three pianos. The American Susan Marshall did the choreography. In her adaptation, Ménard takes the movement material further. Using a rotating scene, she gives the performance a special cadence. Text, song, dance and music intertwine at breakneck speed, while conductor Emmanuel Olivier brings out the tragic beauty and immersive character of Glass's opera.

Phia Ménard's artistic career started with a fascination for juggling. She quickly developed into a versatile creator with a penchant for music and movement theatre. With Les enfants terribles, for the first time we invite Ménard to the Kaaitheater programme, in cooperation with Théâtre National.

presented by Théâtre National Wallonie - Bruxelles & Kaaitheater

direction & scenography Phia Ménard | musical direction Emmanuel Olivier | assistant direction & scenography Clarisse Delile | light design Éric Soyer | costumes Marie La Rocca | dramaturgy Jonathan Drillet | technical direction Marie Bonnier | sound technique Jonathan Lefèvre-Reich | stage technique Nicolas Marchand | distribution François Piolino, Mélanie Boisvert, Ingrid Perruche ou Anne-Marguerite Werster, Didier Henry, Jonathan Drillet, Nicolas Royez, Flore Merlin, Emmanuel Olivier | co[opera]tive production Les 2 Scènes / Scène nationale de Besançon, Théâtre Impérial – Opéra de Compiègne, Le Bateau Feu / Scène nationale de Dunkerque, Théâtre de Cornouaille / Scène nationale de Quimper, Opéra de Rennes, Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing | co-production La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand / scène nationale, MC2 / Scène nationale de Grenoble, MC93 / Scène nationale de Bobigny, Théâtre National de Wallonie-Bruxelles, Le Carreau / Scène nationale de Forbach