The paradoxical depths of human relations

Nous pour un moment

Stéphane Braunschweig, Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe

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Twenty characters cross paths in increasingly brief encounters over six different stories. Are they ‘a friend’, ‘an acquaintance’, ‘a stranger’ or even ‘an enemy’ to the other? The roles they play in each other’s lives keep changing: one moment they satisfy a temporary need the other person has, the next they pose a threat. The position that people occupy on the chessboard of human relationships changes constantly. In Nous pour un moment, director Stéphane Braunschweig playfully explores the instability of modern relationships and identities. Someone can be a woman’s lover one moment, and the enemy who leaves her for someone else the next. Every interaction is doomed to be interrupted; the enemy is never far off.

background information

Nous pour un moment is the fourth piece by Arne Lygre that Stéphane Braunschweig has directed. Lygre (1968, Bergen, Norway) is an inventive novelist and playwright who often playfully explores

the present-day instability of relationships and identities.

In Nous pour un moment, he defines people principally through their relationships. But all these relationships are fated to break up, to exist only ‘for a moment’. As director Stéphane Braunschweig remarks, this is undoubtedly because the other is always seen either from a place of need (to escape loneliness) or as a threat (to one’s own autonomy). Braunschweig is inspired by Lygre’s simple and subtle writing style. He has previously directed Lygre’s Je disparais, Tage Unter and Rien de moi.

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biographies

Stéphane Braunschweig (1964, Paris) is a director, set designer, translator and since January 2016, director of the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe. He studied philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure,

continuing in 1987 at the École du Théâtre National de Chaillot under Antoine Vitez. In 1988 he founded his own company, Le Théâtre-Machine. Braunschweig has now a total of nearly 70 productions and designs to his name, of both opera and stage plays. From 1993-1998 he was the director of the Centre Dramatique National / Orléans-Loiret-Centre, where he created ten productions that toured throughout France. He received the Georges Lerminier Prize from the Critics’ Union for his complete version of Ibsen's Peer Gynt. From 2000-2008 he was the director of the Théâtre National de Strasbourg, and from 2010-2015 he directed the Théâtre National de la Colline.

In his work Braunschweig has an ‘imaginary dialogue’ with the authors, whose works he considers doors opening onto  ‘the greatest landscape, the exit to the world.’ His repertoire varies from the classics to contemporary works, including: Pirandello, Brecht, Horváth, Beckett, Kleist, Büchner, Ibsen and Chekhov. He has also directed operas for La Scala in Milan, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Madrid Opera House, the Staatsoper in Berlin and festivals in Edinburgh, Aix-en-Provence and Vienna.

In addition to being a scenographer and director of theatre and opera, Braunschweig is also an author and translator. His published works include a volume of texts and interviews about the theatre, entitled ‘Petites portes, grands paysages’.

Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe is one of France’s six national theatres, located in Paris’s 6th arrondissement on the Left Bank of the Seine, next to the Jardin du Luxembourg. The theatre has a long history and tradition, rooted in the ideals of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, that considers freedom of thought and belief one of its basic principles. At the same time it is a theatre that, in the words of its director Stéphane Braunschweig, is ‘open to the world, and at the intersection of generations’. The Odéon theatre welcomes productions by makers of all ages, from all over Europe and beyond, and aims to remain at the forefront of the theatre world, where the most vibrant questions in the world in which we live can resonate and be reflected upon.

To put this ideal into practice, Braunschweig has brought various associate artists to the theatre: the Brazilian Christiane Jatahy, Australian Simon Stone, as well as compatriots Sylvain Creuzevault and Caroline Guiela Nguyen. Productions directed by Braunschweig himself include: Soudain l’étédernier by Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Molière’s L’École des femmes. In addition to Braunschweig’s staging of Arne Lygre’s Nous pour un moment, he has also directed Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, in repertoire as of January 2020. The Odéon’s repertoire consists of new readings of the great works of the past in the light of today’s world, as well as contemporary texts that attempt to understand the most important questions of our age.

 

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Credits

text
Arne Lygre
direction, set
Stéphane Braunschweig
translation
Stéphane Braunschweig, Astrid Schenka
artistic collaboration
Anne-Françoise Benhamou
light
Marion Hewlett
costumes
Thibault Vancraenenbrœck
sound
Xavier Jacquot
hair & make-up
Karine Guillem
assistant director
Yannaï Plettener
cast
Anne Cantineau, Virginie Colemyn, Cécile Coustillac, Glenn Marausse, Pierric Plathier, Chloé Réjon, Jean-Philippe Vidal

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