Dieudonné Niangouna

Profile

Dieudonné Niangouna (Brazzaville, 1976) is a Congolese actor, writer and director. In the early 1990s, he started his career on the streets, outside the ruins of the theatre buildings. It was there that he invented a new, provocative theatrical language. He is now one of the most prominent innovators in African theatre. In 1997, together with his brother Criss, he founded the theatre group Compagnie Les Bruits de la Rue, which aimed to articulate the violence and anger on the streets of the Republic of Congo. His work is characterised by a sense of urgency, born out of the civil war in his country and the history of French colonialism. As an actor, he has performed in Revisor by Nikolai Gogol, Die Ausnahme und die Regel (‘The exception and the rule’) by Bertold Brecht, and La Liberté des Autres (‘The liberty of others’) by Caya Mackhélé. His first own productions with Les Bruits de la Rue were Colère d'Afrique (‘Anger of Africa’), Bye Bye and Carré Blanc (‘White square’). In 2006, he directed and acted in Dans la Solitude des Champs de Cotton by Bernard Marie Koltès, a play that was performed in France, Western and Central Africa. Each year, Niangouna organised the Festival International de Théâtre Mantsina Sur Scène in Brazzaville, which showcased daring theatre, contemporary dance, performances, readings and debates. For a while now, Dieudonné has not been allowed to enter the country due to his no-holds-barred criticism of the regime and the threat of a civil war. In 2007, his monologue Attitude Clando left a big impression at the Festival d'Avignon. He returned to Avignon in 2009 with Les Inepties Volantes. In 2013, together with Stanislas Nordey, he was artiste associé in Avignon, and made his debut at the Holland Festival with the performance Shéda. In 2014, he presented a new production Le Kung-Fu at Laboratoire d'Aubervilliers. This performance travelled to the Francophonies en Limousin Festival, the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt, the Bonlieu Scène Nationale in Annecy, and the Théatre Vidy in Lausanne. From 2014 to 2017, he is associate artist at the Künstlerhaus Monsonturm in Frankfurt. It is there that he produced his most recent work, Nkenguéngi.