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Dec 2022 /Jan 2023


Dec 2022 /Jan 2023


After his renditions of classics by the likes of Molière, Shakespeare, Sophocles, Racine, among others, Gwenaël Morin takes on The Theatre and its Double by Antonin Artaud, using the manifesto of the “Theatre of Cruelty” as a premise. With actors and audience members settled inside a giant white bubble, the director examines his experience through the lens of Artaud’s theories and proceeds to destroy his own work as he pursues a different theatre in the rubble.


In his collected essays The Theatre and Its Double, Antonin Artaud proposes a dense, wild and contradictory program. The book appears to be – paradoxically – an urging invitation to engage with theater while questioning its possibility or impossibility. Not only is Artaud’s point ambitious but his uncompromising language radically challenges our assumptions.


How to translate those words that sound like both whispers and blasts to the stage? After pondering this question, Gwenaël Morin now comes to grips with this staggering experience, placing the audience and the actors in a large-scale space conceived by Philippe Quesne: a giant bubble whose vault brings to mind a cathedral and the whiteness Moby Dick’s belly, the whale dreamed up by Herman Melville. “The most beautiful art is one that brings us closer to chaos”, wrote Artaud, thereby suggesting that art connects us with the mystery of the human condition.


By looking at the entirety of Artaud’s works, and not just The Theatre and Its Double, Gwenaël Morin brings this enigmatic dimension to the fore, inviting audiences to a show that feels like a bracing and humorous ritual alternating singing, participatory, improvised and written parts. An invitation to share the power of a work that keeps engaging us as it reminds us of its pionneering importance.


Gwenaël Morin – Antonin Artaud “Le Théâtre et son double” (répétitions) – Nanterre-Amandiers. © Martin Argyroglo


Le Théâtre et son double – Gwenaël Morin – Nanterre-Amandiers © Martin Argyroglo


Le Théâtre et son double – Gwenaël Morin – Nanterre-Amandiers © Martin Argyroglo


Le Théâtre et son double – Gwenaël Morin – Nanterre-Amandiers © Martin Argyroglo




The Theatre and Its Double


22nd September – 3rd October 2020


Nanterre-Amandiers | Centre dramatique national




Gwenaël Morin studied as an architect while doing theater during the university period. At the end of his studies, he became assistant to Michel Raskine for three years (1996–1999) and put on his first shows: Débite! (go ahead) after the end of August by Arthur Adamov and Pareil pas pareil with love dialogues taken from films by Jean-Luc Godard. He staged texts by Strindberg, García Lorca or Camus and made a film montage of Sarah Kane’s play, Aneantis. In 2009, he moved to Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers where he initiated, with Julian Eggerickx, Barbara Jung and Grégoire Monsaingeon the experience of the Permanent Theater, based on three principles: play every night, repeat every day, transmit continuously. For a year he works the repertoire with pieces whose title is the name of the main character: Lorenzaccio, Woyzeck, Bérénice, etc. From 2013 to 2018, he directed the Théâtre du Point du jour in Lyon where he continued the Permanent theater. His shows Les Molière de Vitez, Les Tragédies de Sophocle (2016) and Re ‐ Paradise (2018) were presented in Nanterre ‐ Amandiers.



Concept and direction Gwenaël Morin


Text The Theater and its Double, Antonin Artaud, Éditions Gallimard, 1938


Scenography Philippe Quesne


Dramaturgy Camille Louis


Distribution Lucie Brunet, Lucile Delzenne, François Gorrissen, Manu Laskar, Nicolas Le Bricquir, Gwenaël Morin, Nicole Mersey-Ortega, Richard Sammut, Kay Zevallos-Villegas


Production Compagnie Gwenaël Morin / SAS Permanent TheaterNanterre-Amandiers co-production – national drama center