Douleur exquise

Brigitte Haentjens

A woman repeats, 35 times, the story of a break-up, relating her tale of grievous separation until the pain is assuaged, until the words become useless and the narrative shorter and shorter.


She focuses obsessively on the same information: the date he left, the date they were supposed to get back together, the hotel room, the red telephone, the lover’s excuse for not showing up at the rendezvous – he is an absent but active presence. She writes in her diary every day, detailing her gradual recovery and inviting us on an inner journey that leads from unhappy love affair to artistic catharsis. With Douleur exquise, an indecent and caustique tale of redemption by the visual artist, filmmaker and writer Sophie Calle, Brigitte Haentjens pursues her reflection on the injuries inflicted on the body. She is back with Anne-Marie Cadieux, her always incandescent accomplice. Together they offer a portrayal that is unique, vibrant, venturing further into the darkness of the soul where everything is murky, secret and sibylline.


Based on a text by : Sophie Calle

Directed by : Brigitte Haentjens


With : Anne-Marie-Cadieux

And : Paule Baillargeon, Pierre Antoine Lasnier, Gaétan Nadeau, Paul Savoie

Assistant to the Director and Stage Manager : Colette Drouin

Set Design : Anick La Bissonnière

Images : Angelo Barsetti, Simon Laroche

Music : Alexander MacSween

Lighting Design : Etienne Boucher

Costume Design : Yso

Hair Stylist and Make-Up Artist : Angelo Barsetti

Production : Sibyllines | Théâtre de Quat’Sous

Coproduction : Festival TransAmériques

Text: Stéphane Lépine

English Translation: Neil Kroetsch

Photo: Angelo Barsetti