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    • The Dry and the Wet

    • Theatre / Show
    • The Dry and the Wet

    • Theatre / Show

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Images

Le sec et l'humide © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Le sec et l'humide © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Le sec et l'humide © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Le sec et l'humide © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Le sec et l'humide © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Le sec et l'humide © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Le sec et l'humide © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Le sec et l'humide © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Le sec et l'humide © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Le sec et l'humide © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

 

Presentation

  • Writing The Dry and the Wet, based on the memoir by Waffen-SS Léon Degrelle, leader of the Walloon Legion, Johnathan Littell aimed to decipher, even dissect, the language of fascism. In line with The Kindly Ones, Littell's first novel based on his research, this new play allows Guy Cassiers to explore the figure of the “monster” Degrelle and examine the very material of the language of Nazism, which managed to seduce crowds, annihilate identities, and infected those who listened to it. Starting with a statement that also serves as context, “we all have within us a monster, who may or may not awaken,” the director approaches the movement from dry to wet, from good to evil. On the stage: an austere conference, complete with stand and screen, where an actor takes on the role of a pedantic historian certain of his quasi-scientific rigour. But analysing the work of the Belgian Nazi isn't so easy... The exploration of this sinuous language built to persuade contaminates the man, but also his audience, us. Words and sounds become terrifying, mesmerising, and archaic songs. Using the experimental technology of VoiceFollower, developed by the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM), voices split and meld together in the service of an irreversible psychological process that would require resistance mechanisms not on an individual, but on a societal scale.

     

    Guy Cassiers
    After studying visual arts at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Guy Cassiers focused on creating a dramatic language with a strong visual and sensorial identity. Adapting and directing non-dramatic texts allowed him to grapple with a language that is often politically-charged within an ever-shifting world that may seem at first incomprehensible. The use of cameras, video images, and live music serves to immerse the audience in the languages and stories on which he works. He is now the director of the Toneelhuis in Antwerp, the great Flemish theatre in Belgium, which he leads with the desire to share his creative process with artists from diverse backgrounds. Guy Cassiers's theatre explores the history of Europe, and particularly the discourse about it and the sociopolitical forces that vie for dominance, always focusing first and foremost on the human dimension of those stories. Guy Cassiers has presented several of his plays at the Festival d'Avignon: Rouge décanté (Decanted Red) in 2006, his trilogy about power with Mefisto for ever in 2007, then Wolfskers and Atropa. The Revenge of Peace in 2008, not forgetting the first part of Musil's The Man Without Qualities in 2010, Blood & Roses. The Song of Joan and Gilles in the Cour d'honneur of the Palais des papes in 2011, and Virginia Woolf's Orlando in 2013. He will present two shows at the 71st edition of the Festival, Grensgeval (Borderline), based on a text by Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek which gives voice to refugees seeking shelter in Europe, and The Dry and the Wet.

     

    Jonathan Littell
    After the release of his novel The Kindly Ones, written in French, Jonathan Littell won the Prix Goncourt 2006 and the Grand Prix du Roman of the Académie française, and was given the French nationality for his “contribution to the cultural standing of France.” The grandson of Russian Jews who emigrated to America, he has dedicated his work to understanding the violence of the Second World War and of the Eastern Front. After working alongside NGO Action Against Hunger in the wars in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, and Afghanistan, Jonathan Littell started writing in 2001 the fictional memoirs of SS Officer Maximilien Aue, directly inspired by the writing of Belgian far-right leader Léon Degrelle, which he meticulously analysed in The Dry and the Wet, published in 2008.

  • Distribution

    Text Jonathan Littell / Direction Guy Cassiers
    Voice Johan Leysen / Dramaturgy Erwin Jans
    Sound Diederik De Cock
    Assistant director Camille de Bonhome
    Computer music production Ircam Grégory Beller

    With Filip Jordens

    Production

    Production Toneelhuis Anvers
    Co-production Ircam-Centre Pompidou (Institut de recherche et de coordination acoustique/musique)
    With the support of the Europe creative program of the European Union
    With the help of the city of Antwerp for the 71st edition of the Festival d'Avignon

    Le sec et l'humide by Jonathan Littell, is published by Editions Gallimard.

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