The Repetition

by Milo Rau and Ensemble
Concept and Direction: Milo Rau


One night in April 2012, outside a gay bar on a street corner in Liège, Ihsane Jarfi talks to a group of young men in a grey VW Polo. Two weeks later he is found dead on the edge of a nearby forest. He has been subjected to sustained torture and then brutallymurdered. The crime shocks and dismays the entire city which, in the wake of the closure of numerous industrial plants, is marked by mass unemployment and social unrest. How does a crime begin? With intent or by accident? What role does the audience play? What guilt is borne by the collective? Can a crime be at all reconstructed? And who will present it on stage? Together with the four actors Sara De Bosschere, Sébastien Foucault, Johan Leysen and Tom Adjibi as well as warehouseman Fabian Leenders and dog-sitter Suzy Cocco Milo Rau sets off on the trail of a serious crime in search of the elementary emotions which underlie the experience of the tragic: loss and grief, truth and falsehood, disaster and fear, cruelty and terror. Six professional and non-professional actors ponder the glamour and depths of life and theatre and slip into the roles of the protagonists involved in a brutal murder case: A manifesto for a democratic theatre of the real emerges.

With this production, Milo Rau is inaugurating the »Histoire(s) du théâtre« series, a playful long-term investigation into humanity’s oldest art form. With it, Rau and his team revisit a fundamental problem of their artistic work over the past 15 years: the question of the representability of violence and traumatic events on stage. It is an investigation into the heart of the human condition and a paean to the power of theatre. 

Concept and Direction: Milo Rau
Set and Costume Design: Anton Lukas
Video Design: Maxime Jennes, Dimitri Petrovic
Research and Dramaturgy: Eva-Maria Bertschy
Dramaturgic collaboration: Stefan Bläske, Carmen Hornbostel
Lighting Design: Jurgen Kolb
Sound Design: Jens Baudisch
Camera: Maxime Jennes, Moritz von Dungern
Production: Mascha Euchner-Martinez, Eva-Karen Tittmann

With: Tom Adjibi, Suzy Cocco, Sara de Bosschere, Sébastien Foucault, Fabian Leenders, Johan Leysen

Duration: ca. 105 minutes

German Premiere on 1 September 2018


»Die Wiederholung« (»The Repetition«) is a production by the International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM) and the Création Studio Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles. Supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin, Pro Helvetia and Ernst-Göhner-Stiftung. A coproduction with the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, NTGent, Schaubühne Berlin, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, Théâtre Nanterre- Amandiers, Tandem Scène Nationale Arras Douai, Théâtre de Liège, Münchner Kammerspiele, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt a. M., Theater Chur, Gessnerallee Zürich, Romaeuropa Festival.