Les Émigrants

[ The Emigrants ]
based on the novel by W. G. Sebald
a production by Krystian Lupa

estimated duration 4h (with intermission)

13 January – 4 February

Odéon 6e

with Pierre Banderet, Monica Budde, Pierre-François Garel, Aurélien Gschwind, Jacques Michel, Mélodie Richard, Laurence Rochaix, Manuel Vallade, Philippe Vuilleumier

After having directed Broch, Musil, Bernhard, and Kafka, Krystian Lupa engages with W. G. Sebald’s The Emigrants. In this hypnotic tale at a crossroads between fiction and documentary, the German author recreates the life of four men he has known, and who have all gone through exile and been permanently affected by it. Their intimate reverie, that unfolds in a text akin to a long prose poem; the stretching of time, that becomes a palpable duration; the unique density of his writing: everything, in Sebald’s work, resonates with Lupa’s universe and his work with his actors, based on conjuring their inner landscapes. For the Polish director, setting on stage two of these migrants’ portraits is a way to remind us of  “the human being’s destructive power" — that which forces beings to be banished, to lose their "spiritual homeland" entirely. Inspired by the spectral photographies that pervade Sebald’s story, he conjures up onstage, through the actors, unspeakable ruptures. And he creates dazzling crossing points between the actors’ carnal, concrete presence, and the work’s mysterious depth.

Following the cancellation of the show at the Comédie de Genève and the Avignon Festival, performances of Les Emigrants [ The Emigrants ]  have finally been maintained at the Odéon. A protocol has been agreed with the director, the actors and all the theatre's teams, to enable this production to go ahead. The management will pay particular attention to the smooth running of rehearsals. The operating schedule has been modified in order to finalise this show.