Author Édouard Louis and director Milo Rau have been friends for a long time, a friendship born out of their joint search for an art of the real. “The core of theatre is the same as in literature: to show what is difficult to show. Theatre should not be a safe place”, Louis wrote about Rau’s play Family.
With the performance The Interrogation, they present now a very personal text about doubting and failing. The play was written and staged by Louis and Rau in spring 2021, originally commissioned by Kunstenfestivaldesarts, IIPM & NTGent, but never premiered. Now it’s finally live to see. Performed by NTGent global ensemble actor Arne de Tremerie, The Interrogation is a “demonstration for vulnerability”, a moment of poetic standstill.
Can we escape our biography through art, or is art only the record of a failed liberation? “It’s a deeply melancholic play, a fragmentary play, a tender play”, as Louis and Rau said in an interview – a constant exchange on theatre and reality, failing and transformation, fiction and truth, on becoming and being.
“The Interrogation is a meditation on failed liberation, on doubt and failure, on the powerlessness of theatre (art) to change the violence of the world.” – La Libre Belgique
“The Interrogation is a fundamental ode to failure and a rehabilitation of failure, which is a condition for transformation, essential for acquiring authenticity and perhaps also for making essential art. An extremely exciting show.” Theaterkrant (review Sander Janssens)
“Truth is a revenge because we live in a world of lies. About poor people, about gay people, about what we experience. Every time, truth is a fight.” Édouard Louis in The Guardian
“A particularly captivating performance with excellent acting and subtle direction. A triumph.” pzazz (review Johan Thielemans)
Édouard Louis has gained worldwide success in recent years with his books, in which he describes his life from his teenage years, his struggles in a small town in northern France and growing up as a young homosexual man. Theatre plays a crucial role in his life. Playing theatre himself brings him into contact with literature, but also teaches him how to survive through acting.
Milo Rau proves in projects like The Congo Tribunal, La Reprise, Orestes in Mosul, The New Gospel or School of Resistance that theatre does not have to be detached from society but that it is a necessary contribution to politics, culture, and society – a place to tell true stories that shape our society.
DURATION & LANGUAGE:
Duration: 65 min
Spoken language: Dutch
Text: Édouard Louis & Milo Rau
Direction: Milo Rau
Performance: Arne de Tremerie
Dramaturgy: Carmen Hornbostel
Director assistant: Giacomo Bisordi and François Pacco (on tour)
Technical direction: Jens Baudisch
Light design: Dennis Diels and Ulrich Kellermann (on tour)
Production Management: Mascha Euchner–Martinez
Translation: Erik Borgman & Kaatje De Geest
An IIPM production – coproduced by NTGent and ITA – International Theatre Amsterdam; originally commissioned for the Kunstenfestivaldesarts