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    Festival d’Automne à Paris
    156 rue de Rivoli
    75001 Paris

You are visiting the page of a show featured in the 2016 edition. Find all the shows from this edition in our archives

Forced Entertainment

The Notebook

Based on Le grand cahier by Ágota Kristóf original © Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1986


    • Théâtre de la Bastille
      November 28 to December 3

    After The Thrill of It All in 2010 and The Coming Storm in 2012, Forced Entertainment, the experimental theatre company based in Sheffield, England, returns to the Festival d’Automne à Paris with a historical piece. In The Notebook, the director Tim Etchells took his inspiration from the novel of the same name by the Hungarian authoress Ágota Kristóf, published in 1986. This work, which was adapted for the cinema in 2016 by the Hungarian film-maker János Szász, tells the story of a pair of twins who, during the Second World War take refuge in their grand-mother’s farm, deep in the countryside, in order to avoid having to go to the front-line, and be confronted with all the bloodshed of war. Living in extreme poverty, their view of the war is void of any sentimentality, unflinching. In their eyes, there can be no doubt that these confrontations are linked to the decline of Central Europe, and that of a society sliding down a slippery slope towards depravation, cruelty and opportunism. A society dominated by one-upmanship, and petty thirst for power. In this intimate, compelling text, dark humour is never far away. Onstage, the two actors Richard Lowdon and Robin Arthur, dressed identically, get under the skin of these conniving brothers as they tell, side by side, not just their own story but also that of a whole nation. A thought-provoking, disturbing narration in which we hear only one voice - and which is brimful of humanity.

    Conceived and deceived by Forced EntertainmentRobin Arthur, Tim Etchells, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O’Connor
    With Robin Arthur, Richard Lowdon
    Director, Tim Etchells
    Stage design, Richard Lowdon
    Lighting design, Jim Harrison
    Production management, Jim Harrison
    Based on Le Grand Cahier by Ágota Kristóf, Éditions du Seuil, Paris, 1986. Translation into English © (1988) by Alan Sheridan

    A Forced Entertainment production// A PACT Zollverein (Essen) coproduction ; LIFT (London) ; 14–18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, with support from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England // A House on Fire commission ; HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin) ; Kaaitheater (Brussels) ; Teatro Maria Matos (Lisbon) ; LIFT and Malta Festival Poznan with support of the Culture Programme of the European Union // In association with Théâtre de la Bastille (Paris) ; Festival d’Automne à Paris // With support from Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts (LICA) and from Onda - Office national de diffusion artistique// First performed on 9th May 2014 at PACT Zollverein (Essen)

    Forced Entertainment
    © Tim Etchells
     Forced Entertainment
    © Tim Etchells
    Forced Entertainment