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Brett Bailey

Teatre Lliure Montjuïc - Sala Fabià Puigserver 18/07 - 19/07

A biblical legend, set in a dystopian contemporary landscape and transformed into a musical with electronic sounds, opera, choral music and a rich audio-visual imagination by an iconic South African director and visual artist.

Installations, performances, theatre sets, operas, musicals and more. The ever-acclaimed creations of South Africa’s Brett Bailey take several forms, but often, as with his productions of Orfeus and the opera Macbeth at the Temporada Alta in 2014, they take their inspiration from great legends which everybody is familiar with. He fills them with African references or directly sets them amid ethnic and tribal struggles in countries such as the Congo. On this occasion his starting point is a biblical legend, the tale of a Samson which he transports to our present age, with capitalism at its most rampant, men and women forced to seek refuge in other countries and xenophobia and violence the norm. In this world (dystopian or a reflection of the strictest reality?), injustices are the muddy ground for acts of terror, perhaps committed by ruthless men and women or perhaps just by some marginalised and alienated souls who have nothing to lose...  One of these men, a young man fighting injustice and oppression, channels this anger and subjects the population to terror. Is Samson a hero or a loaded weapon? But when the death toll rockets, Delilah appears, an ambivalent enemy agent who will ritually castrate Samson and hand him over to the authorities. The brutal treatment he receives while detained will spur him on to a grand final act of suicidal devastation...

The set takes the form of a grandiose musical with a live electronic soundtrack composed by one of the biggest current names in South African music, Shane Cooper. The music features moments of opera, choral performances and a scenography where video images play an important part. The show arrives at El Grec directly from the Festival d’Avignon, the two events being the only two European dates for the production this year.

This transposition of a biblical Samson to a dystopian present-day world has been conceived by Brett Bailey, a playwright, designer, director and author of installations and performances from the Third World Bunfight company.  Bailey is the author of a series of iconoclastic creations exploring the dynamics of the post-colonial world, including Big Dada, Ipi Zombi?, Imumbo Jumbo, Orfeus, the radical stage production of Verdi’s Macbeth and the performed installation Exhibit B.

A production by Third World Bunfight.

Artistic card

Created and directed by: Brett Bailey Composed and conducted by: Shane Cooper Choreography: Elvis Sibeko Artistic creation: Brett Bailey, Tanya P Johnson Lighting design: Kobus Rossouw Video animation: Kirsti Cumming Sound design and engineering: Marcel Bezuidenhout Production and general management: Barbara Mathers Technical production manager: Kobus Rossouw Narrator: Marlo Minnaar Samson: Elvis Sibeko Performed by: Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, Apollo Ntshoko, Abey Xakwe Music performed by: Shane Cooper, Mikhaela Kruger, Jonno Sweetman Translation: Eduard Bartoll Photography: Nardus Engelbrecht

Multimedia gallery


Discipline Theater

Dates and schedules Sunday 18/7 - 20:30 H Monday 19/7 - 20:30 H

Space Teatre Lliure Montjuïc

Duration 100 min

Language English and isiXhosa language, with Catalan surtitles

Price 30 €

Other criteria International


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