Jean-François Matignon was in college when he fell in love with the theatre, and shortly thereafter with cinema. His first direction came in 1987 with an adaptation of Fassbinder's Katzelmacher, followed in 1988 by Raymond Guérin's La peau dure (Thick Skin). In 1990, he founded Compagnie Fraction, with which he created over twenty shows based on works by contemporary authors such as Modiano, Genet, Williams, Müller, Peace, and Brecht, and on classics by Shakespeare, James, or Büchner. Directing plays could have simply been a way to report on his own life, but soon Jean-François Matignon started working on a project of total theatre, bringing together a novelistic approach and stage writing. Theatre became a place where the infinitesimally big and the infinitesimally small are constantly talking to each other. At the heart of this approach, this quote by Büchner: “Man is an abyss, and I turn giddy when I look down into it.” Jean-François Matignon previously directed three plays at the Festival d'Avignon: Gabily's Lalla (or the Terror), Stefanovski's Hotel Europa, and Büchner and Peace's W/GB84. During the 70th edition of the Festival, he also oversaw a tribute to Gabily, a reading of excerpts entitled Marguerite L.
© portrait Fabien Sabre