Collectif Zirlib / Création 2017
Mohamed El Khatib
Teatre Lliure Montjuïc - Espai Lliure 09/07 - 10/07
There is a word – orphaned – that defines the condition of a son or daughter left without parents. The French author knows this word from his own experience, after going through the devastation of losing his mother some years ago. Mohamed El Khatib turned that experience into a piece called Finir en beauté, which will also be shown at the 2021 Grec Festival. He was told at the time, perhaps in an attempt to console him, that the death of a son or daughter is more devastating. Now, there is no use establishing a hierarchy of the pain caused by the loss of a loved one... But it is true that, while the loss of parents has a name, there is no word in the dictionary (except in Hebrew and Arabic) which defines the experience of the death of a child. Mohamed El Khatib was thinking along these lines when he decided to create a documentary play on the theme. He started by bringing together testimonies from well-known figures who had been through sad circumstances: from Victor Hugo to Zinedine Zidane and even Sylvester Stallone. But his perspective changed when he learned about the cases of two actors with whom he had unsuccessfully tried to work on various occasions and who had recently lost children (a son aged 25, in the case of Daniel Kenigsberg, 61, and a daughter aged 5 in the case of Fanny Catel, 37). The first conversations the director had with the actor and actress led to a stage creation that is a moving experience. Life, death and theatre intersect in a play that sits on the boundaries between obscenity and modesty. These are tales of loss, as well as a kind of guide to getting through grief for those who are left behind.
It is the offering of a creator who likes to confront theatre with other performance languages, ranging from cinema to installations. Mohamed El Khatib, director of short films and documentaries based on his own experiences, such as Renault 12 (2018, set in Rif, Morocco and shown at film festivals in Africa), was co-funded in 2008, in Orléans, by the Zirlib multidisciplinary collective, which defends the political meaning of all aesthetics. He is a playwright, director and accompanying director at L’L, a research space for young people in Brussels, and an associate artist at the CDN in Orléans and the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris.
A production by Collectif Zirlib.
Collectif Zirlib is funded by the Centre-Val de Loire Region, the Ministry of Culture–DRAC Centre-Val de Loire, and the city of Orléans.
Mohamed El Khatib is an associate artist at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, at the Malraux – Scène Nationale in Chambéry and at the Théâtre National de Bretagne in Rennes.
Performed by: Fanny Catel, Daniel Kenigsberg Text and production by: Mohamed El Khatib Created by: Fred Hocké, Mohamed El Khatib Sound: Nicolas Jorio Artistic collaboration: Alain Cavalier Psychogenealogy: Bruno Clavier
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