04/14/2018, 19.30 – 22.50

In French and Vietnamese with English and German surtitles

Followed by Audience Talk


by Caroline Guiela Nguyen and Ensemble
Direction: Caroline Guiela Nguyen (Valence/Ho Chi Minh City)

Guest performance during FIND 2018

Marie-Antoinette’s restaurant is located in the centre of over-lapping times and places. It is equally in Saigon and in Paris.
It is simultaneously in 1956 when, after losing the Indochina War, the last French occupiers finally have to leave the country, and in 1996 when, after the lifting of the US embargo, many Vietnamese exiles known as »viet-kieu« are permitted to return to their homeland for the first time. In this restaurant between two cities and two timeframes in which regimes topple and worlds go under, people meet for dinner, to drink, talk, sing karaoke, dance with one another, get married, argue, say farewell and weep. Marie-Antoinette’s restaurant provides the setting in which the destinies of Linh and Edouard, Hao and Mai, Cécile, Antoine and many others are joined to build a giant, epic panorama between the conflicting priorities of remembering and forgetting. Their stories tell of forgotten origins, repressed pain at exile or the remembered trauma of integration into French society to the point of suppressing their own language and culture.
Collaborating with eleven actors and lay-performers, Caroline Guiela Nguyen spent over two years researching, meeting people, collecting stories and developing scenes – in the 13th arrondissement of Paris and in Vietnam. In »SAIGON« she and her ensemble interweave these stories and encounters to form a grand polyphonic, melodramatic tale.

Caroline Guiela Nguyen (*1981, Poissy) is associated with the Odéon-Théâtre de l‹Europe, with the MC2: Grenoble, and is part of the artistic collective La Comédie de Valence – Centre dramatique national Drôme-Ardèche. In 2016 she was awarded the Prix Italia for the realisation of the radio drama »Le Chagrin (Julie et Vincent)«.

Direction: Caroline Guiela Nguyen 

Artistic support: Claire Calvi

Set Design: Alice Duchange

Costume Design: Benjamin Moreau

Lighting Design: Jérémie Papin

Music and Sound Design: Antoine Richard

Composition: Teddy Gauliat-Pitois

Dramaturgy: Jérémie Scheidler, Manon Worms

Translation: Duc Duy Nguyen, Thi Thanh Thu Tô


With: Caroline Arrouas, Dan Artus, Adeline Guillot, Thi Truc Ly Huynh, Hoang Son Lê, Phu Hau Nguyen, My Chau Nguyen thi, Pierric Plathier, Thi Thanh Thu Tô, Anh Tran Nghia, Hiep Tran Nghia

Duration: ca. 200 minutes

(with two intermissions)




Production: Les Hommes Approximatifs. Executive producer: La Comédie de Valence – Centre dramatique national Drôme-Ardèche. Co-production: Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, MC2: Grenoble, Festival d’Avignon, Centre dramatique national de Normandie – Rouen, Théâtre national de Strasbourg, Centre dramatique régional de Tours – Théâtre Olympia, La Comédie de Reims – CDN, Théâtre National de Bretagne – Rennes, Théâtre du Beauvaisis – Scène nationale de l’Oise en préfiguration and Théâtre de la Croix-Rousse.