Le Jeu des Ombres

Théâtre National Populaire & La Criée - Théâtre National de Marseille, France

Written by Valère Novarina

Directed by Jean Bellorini

Based on the Ancient Greek myth Orfeo

Theatre Production of Festival d'Avignon, France, 2020


October 16, 2021, 19:00

October 19, 2021, 19:00

WHERE: Canal Side Theatre

Duration: 136 minutes

Screened in French, with Chinese subtitles

This Project was supported by the Ambassade de France en Chine

Special thanks to Ms. Wang Jing and Hybridités France-Chine

Chinese Translators: Wang Jing, Wang Ninan

Photographer:© Christophe Raynaud de Lage


This show is the result of a huge puzzle. Everything from music to lighting, from clothing to games, from sets to text is perfectly integrated. The shadow game shows extraordinary mobility, just like a ship sailing—in the flow and ups and downs caused by language trends—without capsizing.

Vincent Bouquet, www.sceneweb.fr

Although there were some fluctuations in the performance, the beauty of the stage design, poetry, and music focused on one message: only love and art can escape drama.

Sophie Jouve, France Télévisions-Rédaction Culture

"This is a festival of despair."

Jean Bellorini, director of Le Jeu des Ombres

About Le Jeu des Ombres

Director and stage designer Jean Bellorini takes Monteverdi’s opera as his musical inspiration and invites the most important contemporary French playwright, Valère Novarina, to write and reconstruct the story of Orpheus and Eurydice in a musical theatre way. Interweaving the constantly erupting language of Valère Novarina and the music of Claudio Monteverdi, Le Jeu des Ombres mixes genres and eras. This creation, however, remains faithful to the original myth: only love and art could escape the universal drama of death. The piece speaks deeply about humankind and its insatiable quest for immortality.


Performers: François Deblock, Mathieu Delmonté, Karyll Elgrichi, Anke Engelsmann, Jacques Hadjaje, Clara Mayer, Liza Alegria Ndikita, Hélène Patarot, Marc Plas, Ulrich Verdoni

About Jean Bellorini

After studying at the École Claude Mathieu, Jean Bellorini founded his company in 2001. In 2014, he won two Molière Awards, for Paroles gelées, based on François Rabelais, and Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Szechwan, and became director of the Théâtre Gérard Philipe, which he left in 2019 upon being appointed director of the prestigious Théâtre National Populaire in Villeurbanne. This is his second appearance at the Festival d'Avignon (after Karamazov in 2016, in the Carrière Boulbon), and the second time he has directed a text by Valère Novarina.

About the Festival d’Avignon

Founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar, the Festival d’Avignon is one of the most important contemporary performing arts events in the world. Every year in July, Avignon becomes a city-theatre, transforming its architectural heritage into various majestic and surprising performance venues, welcoming tens of thousands of theater-lovers of all ages. The Festival manages to bring together a popular audience and cutting-edge international works. Avignon is also a state of mind: the city is an open-air forum where festival-goers discuss the shows and share their experiences as spectators. For a month, everyone can have access to a contemporary and living culture.

In addition to the performance, the program also includes a variety of activities such as readings, exhibitions, films and discussions, so audiences can go deep into the world of artists and scholars. At the Festival d’Avignon, there is at least one premiere every night, which makes Avignon a real place for artists and audiences to create and adventure.

About Théâtre National Populaire & La Criée - Théâtre National de Marseille

The Théâtre National Populaire is a theatre now at Villeurbanne, France. It was founded in 1920 by Firmin Gémier, in Paris. Today, the TNP has a company of ten resident actors and the theatre building is currently being completely renovated.

La Criée - Théâtre National de Marseille was founded in May 1981 and opens onto the Old Port. Behind its classical facade, La Criée has a most beautiful large room with 800 seats, a modular room with 280 seats, and a spacious, former fish market hall, which is an exhibition area that can be accessed during the day through its restaurant, Les Grandes Tables de La Criée. Since its opening, nearly 1000 performances have been given.

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