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18 - 29/06/2021

photo by Michiel Devijver
Galleryphoto by Michiel Devijver
  • A performance about the death of a young homosexual man, Ihsane Jarfi, who was murdered in the centre of Liège in 2012. The event shocked the Belgian public and received national media coverage. Milo Rau stages and problematises the notorious case. He also reflects on theatre as such, looking at the tools we have to talk about tragedy (fear and cruelty, loss and grieving) onstage and to elicit emotions in spectators. How will a spectator respond to the presented violence? What role does he/she play? What is his/her responsibility?

    The Repetition is the first instalment of NTGent’s series Histoire(s) du théâtre (I) wherein guest directors focus on the nature, history and future of theatre (the name of the series is a reference to Jean-Luc Godard’s monumental film essay Histoire(s) du cinéma). The performance is also the first realisation of NTGent’s 2018 manifesto, which is a set of rules guiding the theatre’s productions under the artistic direction of Milo Rau. 


    28, 29.06, 19:00, Live performance: THE REPETITION. HISTOIRE(S) DU THÉÂTRE (I)

    Screenings of films / recordings of performances and debates:

    24.06, 14:30 THE CONGO TRIBUNAL

    24.06, 16:15 FIVE EASY PIECES


    25.06, 11:00 LAM GODS

    25.06, 13:00 THE NEW GOSPEL


    25.06, 20:00 SCHOOL OF RESISTANCE

    27.06, 11:00 MEETING WITH MILO RAU



    27.06, 16.00 JUST ASKING: FILM?

  • Milo Rau was born in 1977 in Bern, Switzerland. He is an educated sociologist, in life - a theater and film director, journalist, since 2018 the artistic director of NTGent in Ghent. In 2007, he established the International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM) team, with which he realized most of his shows, films and performances, books, debates, conferences (including Die Letzten Tage der Ceausescus [Last days of Ceauşescu], Breiviks Erklärung [ Breivik's statement], Hate Radio, Five Easy Pieces, Repetition, The New Gospel).) In his performances, he mainly evokes historical and contemporary conflicts, crimes, injustices, and deals with contemporary taboos. The very name of the team refers to the unrealized project about the attempted attack on Hitler by Claus von Stauffenberg.
    A large part of Milo Rau's performances are reconstructions of real events. The director uses archival materials, tries to get to know as many points of view as possible: he calls witnesses, gives the floor to the victims or their relatives, as well as experts. Actors and actresses (professional and unprofessional, coming from different environments and cultures, speaking different languages) participate in the search, gather information, and are always co-authors of the script of the performance. Sometimes they appear as characters from a reconstruction or a drama, other times under their own name.

    The Milo Rau Theater is based on cooperation and solidarity. It manifests itself both at the level of work on the performance, as well as in the selection of topics and locations of activities. The director is convinced that in a globalized world we cannot pretend that other people's problems do not concern us. Every country, even the most distant and exotic, has the West: international corporations, the World Bank, large NGOs. Climate catastrophe, neo-colonialism know no borders. To face them, "we need - as he himself says - new practices, new ways of thinking, new justice, a new parliament, new political sensitivities and a new global intelligence."

    Members and guests of symbolic institutions established by Rau are trying to elaborate them: The Congo Tribunal created in the east of Congo was a theatrical court examining the background of the war in the African Great Lakes; The General Assembly - a theatrical arbitration process and a political debate on the weakness of the United Nations or the EU and the need to create a global civic parliament facing global problems. Participants of these undertakings wondered how to resist the power of large corporations and international institutions cooperating with them, such as the World Bank? How to jointly transform post-capitalist cultural and economic policy for the common good? How to build cross-border alliances? According to Milo Rau, “there is no such thing as" realistic "thinking and acting. (…) The Belgian state arose from nothing and this applies to all states and all state institutions. They are founded on the consent of citizens to share a common fate. Reality comes from utopia. The highlight of the manifesto announced after he took over NTGent was: “It's not just about portraying the world anymore. It's about changing it. The goal is not to show what is real, but to make representation itself. "

    The manifesto is a ten-point set of rules that will apply in NTGent from 2018. about employing foreign-language actors, amateurs, activist groups, and therefore about including people from the outside in the permanent team, about the going out of the theater to people, to non-theatrical regions, also outside Europe. It is therefore an attempt to face the limitations of the traditional urban scene. Rau works from the bottom up to change the way people think and perceive reality, while at the same time contributing to the expansion of the institutional and imaginative boundaries of theater. He combines activism and art, also not avoiding provocation. The form does not soothe, but strengthens the themes he addresses (eg Five Easy Pieces, a play about the famous case of a Belgian pedophile and murderer Marc Dutroux, is played by children). The Milo Rau Theater is at the same time a community theater of solidarity, acting for the common good and symbolic of the Other, as well as a theater of controversy, emotions and artistic risk.

    Milo Rau's performances have been hosted in over 30 countries around the world. They are exhibited at major international festivals, incl. Theatertreffen, Festival d'Avignon, Venice Biennale Teatro, Wiener Festwochen and Brussels Kunstenfestivaldesarts. Rau has won numerous awards - the most recent are Peter-Weiss Prize 2017, 3sat Prize 2017, 2017 Saarbrucken Poetry Lectureship for Drama and the prestigious World Theater Day ITI Prize in 2016, which he won as the youngest artist since Frank Castorf and Pina Bausch. In 2018, he received the European Theater Award. Critics call him the most influential ("Die Zeit"), the most awarded ("Le Soir"), the most interesting ("De Standaard") and the most ambitious ("The Guardian") artist of our time.

    TEXT Milo Rau and ensemble
    PERFORMERS Sara De Bosschere/Kristien de Proost, Suzy Cocco, Sébastien Foucault, Fabian Leenders, Johan Leysen/Sabri Saad El hamus, Tom Adjibi/Adil Laboudi
    RESEARCH & DRAMATURGY Eva-Maria Bertschy
    DRAMATURGIC COLLABORATION Stefan Bläske, Carmen Hornbostel
    SET & COSTUME DESIGN Anton Lukas VIDEO Maxime Jennes, Dimitri Petrovic
    LIGHT DESIGN Jurgen Kolb
    PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Mascha Euchner-Martinez, Eva-Karen Tittmann
    CAMERA Maxime Jennes, Moritz von Dungern
    TECHNICAL STAFF ON TOUR Jim Goossens-Bara, Maxime Jennes, Moritz von Dungern (Camera); Sebastian König (Light); Pierre-Olivier Boulant (Sound); François Pacco (Subtitels); Anna Königshofer (Tour manager)