© Vincent Arbelet

Laboratoire poison

Adeline Rosenstein

A lively, inclusive analysis of our collective memory of resistance movements and the means appropriated by History to separate the treasonous from the righteous.


How, and to what end, do we continue to glorify then debunk resistance movements? Belgian communist partisans during the German occupation, leftist French resistance fighters at the heart of the Algerian War, agents in the Congo’s struggle for independence: what should we take from their testimonies? Adopting a rigorous approach, Adeline Rosenstein and her indefatigable team confront the complexity of History with humility.

Laboratoire poison demands a radical commitment of us: to question the mechanisms that are set in motion when we make judgements. Bodies, archival materials, and living photographs move in precisely calibrated choreography, passing blame around with delightful alacrity. The twelve performers on stage are passionate storytellers seemingly able to embody the voices of hundreds, even thousands, of individuals, reminding us of the masses of rebels who have defied the wall of authority. A dense, instructive, exhilarating work!


Produced by Halles de Schaerbeek + Théâtre Dijon Bourgogne – Centre Dramatique National

Created, written and directed by Adeline Rosenstein

Performed by Aminata Abdoulaye Hama + Marie Alié + Habib Ben Tanfous + Marie Devroux + Salim Djaferi + Thomas Durcudoy + Rémi Faure El Bekkari + Titouan Quittot + Adeline Rosenstein + Talu + Audilia Batista + Jérémie Zagba

Sound Design Andrea Neumann + Brice Agnès

Set and Costume Design Yvonne Harder

Lighting Design Arié Van Egmond

Assistant Director, Text and Dramaturgy Marie Devroux

Outside Eye Léa Drouet

Technical Direction Jean-François Philips

Lighting Manager Benoît Serneels

Documentation Saphia Arezki

Historical Consultants Jean-Michel Chaumont (Poison 1) + Denis Leroux (Poison 2) + Jean Omasombo Tshonda (Poison 3)

Dramaturgical Consultants Michael Disanka + Christiana Tabaro

Production Coordination Maison Ravage – Edgar Martin + Hanna El Fakir

Touring Habemus Papam – Cora-Line Lefèvre + Julien Sigard

Executive Producer Halles de Schaerbeek

Translation Brune BAZIN with the support of Wallonie-Bruxelles international

Surtitles revision and preparation Elaine Normandeau

Surtitles operation Adèle Saint-Amand

Co-produced by Maison Ravage (Bruxelles) + Festival de Marseille + Théâtre Océan Nord (Bruxelles) + Festival Sens Interdits (Lyon) + Théâtre des 13 vents – CDN Montpellier + La Comédie de Saint-Étienne + Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers + La Balsamine (Bruxelles) + Little Big Horn (Bruxelles) + La Coop asbl (Bruxelles) + Shelter Prod (Bruxelles)

With the support of Taxshelter Taxshelter.be + ING + Tax-Shelter du Gouvernement Fédéral Belge + Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles – service Arts de la Scène

Creative residency Théâtre Océan Nord (Bruxelles)

Presented with the support of Institut Français + Consulat Général de France à Québec + Wallonie-Bruxelles International in association with Place des Arts

Premiered at Théâtre Dijon-Bourgogne, on May 22, 2021

A North American première

Written by Catherine Girardin

Translated by David Dalgleish


©Vincent Arbelet

Adeline Rosenstein (Brussels)
Maison Ravage

In opposition to unequivocal, homogenous discourse, Adeline Rosenstein creates works of documentary theatre that refuse to soften the harshness of verbatim accounts.
Full biography