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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: http://www.humanite.fr/18_06_2011-e...

by Interview and photos by Fabien Perrier

Interview with Serge Nicolaï of the ’Théâtre du Soleil’, the theatre company directed by Ariane Mnouchkine

Translated Thursday 30 June 2011, by Nicole Hawkesford and reviewed by Bill Scoble

What brings the Théâtre du Soleil troupe here?

Serge Nicolaï: After all the actions that we’ve taken in France this winter, it was difficult to come to Greece and not demonstrate our support for the Greek people. One talks of European solidarity, so when you see all the protests happening here, and all the distress they’re experiencing, it was impossible for us to be here and do nothing. Besides, in the square, there was a banner written in French: "How long will YOU be asleep for?" It was meant for us!

We are the bearers of support. Justice travels, it’s international. We are the bearers of liberty, fraternity, and equality. It’s also a way to thank the Athens Festival, which invited us here despite the difficult times the country’s going through. Inviting a theatre company is expensive. We are a drop in the ocean, but we want to help.

You are part of the ’théâtre engagé’ (theatre which addresses social and political issues). Will you incorporate what you’ve seen in Greece into your performances once you return to France?

Serge Nicolaï: Well, we’re organising meetings with some of the appalled economists. We’re always at work. And we’ll continue to work even more, with the current political goings-on in France, and with the problems the left is having. In our political and artistic work with théâtre engagé, we’ll be part of it. Not just during our performances on our return from touring. Our performance itself is a political theatre: it’s called "The Shipwrecked of Mad Hope" (Les Naufragés du fol espoir), subtitled "Dawn".

So yes, we will continue our fight!

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