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théâtre national de nice

Saison 2018-19

théâtre national de nice


le nouveau monde

[a poetic meditation on the beginning of the 21st century]
script, stage design & performance by Gilles Cailleau
directed by Julie Denisse

props Christophe Brot costumes Virginie Breger lighting Christophe Bruyas, Philippe Germaneau sound Thibaud Boislève production Attention Fragile coproduction ARCHAOS - Pôle National Cirque Méditerranée, La Passerelle - SN Gap Alpes du Sud, Théâtre National de Nice - CDN Nice Côte d’Azur, Théâtre d’Arles - Scène agreement for new script, Coopérative De Rue et De Cirque deParis-2R2C, Théâtre des Quatre Saisons - Scène conventionnée Musique(s) - Gradignan, Le Quai des Rêves - Lamballe, Théâtres en Dracénie - Scène conventionnée dès l’enfance et pour la danse, La TRIBU [Théâtre de Grasse, PJP PôleJeunePublic-TPM, Théâtre Durance - Château Arnoux-Saint-Auban, La Régie Culturelle Scènes et Cinés, Le Carré Sainte-Maxime, Aggloscènes - Théâtre le Forum - Saint-Raphaël, Les Théâtres - Marseille, Aix-en-Provence] résidences La Verrerie d’Alès Pôle National Cirque Languedoc- Roussillon, Le Cratère - SN Alès, La Cascade Pôle National des Arts du Cirque en Ardèche - Rhône-Alpes, La Gare Franche – Marseille
The company Attention Fragile is contracted with la DRAC PACA with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the Région PACA, the Département du Var and the Toulon - Provence Méditerranée.

This is a philosophical and circus-steeped expedition across the chaos of the 21st century - an unexpectedly refreshing and poetic journey. Powerful stuff.

With his acrobat’s physique and child-like gaze, Gilles Cailleau is ready to take us on a singular journey through our times. He expresses his concerns about a planet that is being suffocated by Man’s madness. He walks the tightrope, sends paper planes into orbit, throws knives at rag dolls, cuts himself in two with a musical saw and recreates the sea with a slender wooden strip….
These simple, almost naive images, brimming with intelligence and sensitivity, bring a marvellously clownish and philosophical perspective to some of the events that are shaping the 21st century. Alone on stage, this performer is in fleeting communion with his audience. As we progress on this astounding odyssey, we let our imagination run wild and dream of a continent that doesn’t yet exist….A new world!

We can liken this to a tree, branches outstretched, reminding us that it is possible to communicate with the world by touching the very earth itself. Evelyne Tran, Le Monde

Meet the artistic team after the show on Friday 17 November.

Interview Gilles Cailleau

Interviewed by Caroline Audibert

“The only way for the world to get better is for us all to be involved”

Your show takes a look at the woes of the 21st century. Is it a means of release?

It’s the viewpoint of your average human being who doesn’t understand the world around him; who dislikes the fact that people are turned away at borders; that half the world hates one other; who can’t stand barriers nor that people perish at sea…These are the kinds of things that are normally taboo, not openly acknowledged. This show is about getting some of the nightmares out of our system. I’m actually really surprised that I did it. When I first had the idea for the show I didn’t know where it was going to take me.

And yet, on stage you are all alone to tackle the 21st century….

I may be alone on stage but I’m not the only player at all! I perform amongst people not in front of them. I feel as if “I” am “them.” – we are one and the same. In fact, I incorporated the audience from the very start of rehearsals and began to weave them in during the open workshops. I didn’t want the ending to be written solely by one person, as the only way for the world to get better is for us all to be involved and for us not to relinquish how the future is written, to the few. That’s why I wrote the play with the idea of creating a “transient community” that slowly but surely builds as rehearsals progress. I made a kind of Noah’s Ark with human words.

You express yourself with words but predominantly through movement and object theatre…

There is a story, a saga about the 21st century…a poetic tale that slowly trickles away and then there is me, Gilles, with my own way of reaching the audience, using fewer words. We mustn’t forget body language, that defender of the soul. Sometimes it abounds, other times it catches me up and sometimes it topples me over. It really is like a child’s body that builds things and then knocks them down…adapting to a kind of storm going on in its head.

And what do you think is the biggest, most pressing storm you needed to bring to the fore?

The most powerful image in the play is when I explode the two towers made out of glass and cardboard. But for me, the most important thing that has happened over recent decades is how we have lost the art of thinking. It lends itself less to the stage…. I didn’t necessarily chose themes from an intellectual point of view, I just followed my intuition and chance meetings, rather like puppets found at a garage sale who tell the tragic tale of Lampedusa…

Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Is it all about succeeding in creating connections between people?

It’s exactly that. The beginning is quite dark and chaotic…then we move towards something lighter. But I am not the Pied Piper of Hamlyn! I’m not leading anyone towards splendid optimism. What interests me is what we all do together after the experience; people slowly open up, express their fears, their hopes and their true beliefs. Little by little, together, we manage to help each other feel better. It is this connection between people that is so vital, especially in our world of increasing solitude where you can so easily feel marginalized, be “out” of a WhatsApp conversation or not find yourself in the “happening” zone… In this little theatre piece we actually find ourselves at the centre of the world because we are creating something that has not been dictated by somebody else.
2017-18 season

Online Booking from
saturday 06 october 10h

le nouveau monde at Théâtre National de Nice
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