Le virus et la proie
Heedless and elusive, power appears to us citizens of the 21st century like a thousand-headed hydra, at once everywhere and nowhere. Engaging it in dialogue is impossible. Fed up with remaining silent before the barely concealed cruelty of the law, four people lay it all on the line, speaking out in voices quivering with the force of truth, the weight of their words highlighted by their presence on stage.
In this piece addressed directly to a politician, writer and intellectual Pierre Lefebvre highlights all the social diseases that undermine the equality of opportunities in our neoliberal world. Thanks to Benoît Vermeulen’s stripped-down direction, the performance relies primarily on sharing the voices of a remarkable, unified cast. On stage, the body and the text are finally able to say together what neither can say on its own. Thoughtful outrage is the desired outcome!
Produced by Pierre Lefebvre + Benoît Vermeulen
Written by Pierre Lefebvre
Directed by Benoît Vermeulen
Performed by Tania Kontoyanni + Etienne Lou + Alexis Martin + Eve Pressault
Assistant Director and Stage Manager Ariane Lamarre
Music Guido del Fabbro
Lighting Design Anne-Sara Gendron
Costume Design and props Estelle Charron
Movement Advisor Line Nault
Make-up Sandrine Bisson
Surtitles translation and preparation Élaine Normandeau
Surtitles operation Emmanuelle Brousseau
Technical Director Caroline Turcot
Executive Producer Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental
Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques + Théâtre français du Centre national des Arts (Ottawa) + Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental + Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui
Presented in association with Espace libre
Premiered at Festival TransAmériques, Montréal, on May 27, 2022
Written by Paul Lefebvre
Translated by David Dalgleish
About the artists
Pierre Lefebvre (Montreal)
After studying French literature at the Université de Montréal, Pierre Lefebvre directed radio documentaries for Radio-Canada’s culture channel, including Ignorances : un état des lieux (2003-2004 Prix de la radio award for best documentary show).
From 2005 to 2017, he was editor-in-chief of Liberté, where he published numerous essays and, most importantly, gave new life to the magazine, earning him the 2018 Prix d’excellence from the Société de développement des périodiques culturels. His theatrical works include Lortie. Une tragédie grecque bien de chez nous (Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental, 2008), Extramoyen, splendeur et misère de la classe moyenne (co-written with Alexis Martin, NTE, 2017), and his contribution to the collective work Jusqu’où te mènera Montréal (Jamais Lu/FTA, 2017). In 2015, Boréal published a collection of his essays, Confessions d’un cassé.
Benoît Vermeulen (Montreal)
After he co-founded Théâtre le Clou in 1989, the works directed by Benoît Vermeulen soon earned him an international reputation in the field of theatre for teens.
With this company, he directed over ten creations, including Au moment de sa disparition by Jean-Frédéric Messier (Masque award for directing, 2003), Romances et karaoké by Francis Monty (Masque award for direction, 2005), Assoiffés by Wajdi Mouawad, and Appels entrants illimités by David Paquet. He also notably directed Des arbres by Duncan Macmillan at Théâtre de la Manufacture and Bilan by Marcel Dubé at TNM. From 2007 to 2012, he was in charge of youth programming at the National Arts Centre French Theatre in Ottawa as an associate artist under artistic director Wajdi Mouawad.