François Gremaud Auréliens


The actor Aurélien (Patouillard) plays the role of the astrophysicist and philosopher Aurélien (Barrau). By shifting scientific discourse to the body of the artist, and university to theatre, the director François Gremaud awakens our senses to the political urgency of the ecological drama facing us.

We are given a warning right from the outset: “This isn’t going to be much fun”. During a conference hosted at Université de Lausanne in 2019 on the need to take action in order to save the planet, Aurélien Barrau alerted listeners to the “wide-scale extermination” of all living matter, and “the shape of the end of the world” awaiting us and the need to redefine the economic growth that we seek. An admirer of this scientist’s political engagement and poetic language, here François Gremaud attempts to put his own skills as a theatre practitioner at the service of this point of view. In contrast to Phèdre ! and Giselle… (both of which feature on this year’s Festival programme), he confers the fine art of the incongruous and the joy of sharing to a performer who never fails to take him by surprise, in this instance Aurélien Patouillard. On a bare stage, Aurélien the actor, himself a trained physician, lends his responsive body to the wise words of the brilliant orator, the other Aurélien. By means of this shift, the gravity of the alert reveals the absurdity of the situation and enables the heart to potentially recognize what reason finds hard to believe.