Le Capital et son Singe

Théâtre National

2h 30min
FR > NL

14/05 – 20:15
15/05 – 20:15
16/05 – 20:15

Constructing the form of a human meeting for the stage, the “à table” theatre of Sylvain Creuzevault is a theatre of words and opinions. Based on a practice combining collective development, improvisation and writing for the stage, his erudite and yet remarkably lively shows question those moments when History is made from men and women gathering together. His latest creation, Le Capital and son Singe, loosely based on Das Kapital by Karl Marx, immerses the audience in fiery discussions between French revolutionaries in 1848. With a mix of playful enjoyment, political anger and being good-naturedly relaxed, the fourteen brilliant perform historical facts and characters. With a disarming naturalness they founder in a debate on capitalism, the value system and the place of the worker, a continent of activist thought of which we are the distant heirs. Theatre as a model of democracy in action!

Based on
Das Kapital by Karl Marx

Directed by
Sylvain Creuzevault

Performed by
Vincent Arot, Benoit Carré, Antoine Cegarra, Pierre Devérines, Lionel Dray, Arthur Igual, Léo-Antonin Lutinier, Frédéric Noaille, Amandine Pudlo, Sylvain Sounier, Anne-Laure Tondu, Julien Villa, Noémie Zurletti

Lighting
Vyara Stefanova, Nathalie Perrier

Set design
Julia Kravtsova

Costumes
Pauline Kieffer, Camille Pénager

Masks
Loïc Nébréda

Stage manager
Michael Schaller

Tour administration
Edouard Chapot

Production & distribution
Élodie Régibier

Presentation
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Théâtre National de la Communauté française

Production
Le Singe

Co-production
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Théâtre National de la Communauté française (Brussels),

Théâtre national de Bordeaux en Aquitaine, Nouveau Théâtre d’Angers, Théâtre national de la Colline (Paris), Festival d’Automne à Paris, Comédie de Valence, La Criée – Théâtre national de Marseille, Le Parvis – Scène Nationale Tarbes-Pyrénées, Printemps des comédiens (Montpellier), MC2 (Grenoble), La Filature – Scène nationale (Mulhouse), Théâtre de l’Archipel – Scène Nationale de Perpignan, Le Cratère – Scène nationale d’Alès, Grec 2014. Festival de Barcelona

In collaboration with
Théâtre Garonne (Toulouse), Théâtre national de Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées

Supported by
Direction générale de la creation artistique du Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication

Performance in Brussels supported by
Institut français

This project is co-produced by
NXTSTP, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

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Le Capital et son Singe

The subject of our farce is the progressive social alienation brought about by the capitalist mode of production and commercial society. Its starting point is at the crossroads of the political revolution of the late 18th century and the great industrial revolution of the 19th century. Three works by Karl Marx provide its stimulus: two political works, The Class Struggles in France and The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, and obviously Das Kapital, volume 1, a critique of the political economy. We want to show the tension caused by two great concepts developed by Marx, you could almost say by two stories: the famous story of class struggles, where dividing lines run through society and group individuals according to specific interests, and the mysterious story of the cult nature of commodities or how producers subject themselves to their own products. Two stories that are linked by the place of their creation: the belly of the capitalist mode of production.

The transition of 1848
It is 13 May 1848 in Rue Transnonain, Paris in the Society of the Friends of the People which was started by Vincent-François Raspail after the February Revolution. The characters are returning from the first demonstration organised since the 4 May meeting of the new French constituent assembly elected by direct universal male suffrage on 23 April, which has proclaimed the Second Republic. It is the first time in the history of social forms that nine million men have been invited to vote – until that point, elections of the legislative body in France were arranged by taxable quota, a taxation threshold on which the right to vote and the eligibility of citizens were based. Since February and the overthrow of the July Monarchy of Louis-Philippe, Parisians having been ensuring that the revolutionary movement continues, with the social issue of work suddenly cropping up in politics. This scene takes place before the social rift that turned into civil war in the streets of Paris in June.

The transition of 1919
This scene takes place after the social rift that turned into civil war in the streets of Berlin in January. It is 13 June 1919 in Berlin, during the marriage of Karl and Johanna. Outside, a funeral cortege passes through the streets in homage to Rosa Luxemburg. The head of the revolutionary party had been missing since the January riots and her body has just been found in the Landwehrkanal. Being confronted with these facts disrupts the celebration, and the marriage ceremony is being haunted so much by recent events in Germany that it seems impossible. Will it ever take place? Since the revolution in November 1918 and the proclamation of the republic, this is the night on which Germany, governed by social democracy, awaits the Weimar Constitution and the Treaty of Versailles that will decide its fate.

The political trials in Bourges and elsewhere
The final scene opens on the political trials of leading figures in 1848 and 1919, inspired by their transcripts. The script breaks the historical continuum by moving from one era to the next, with masks on and off. Marx: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice.” He forgot to add: “the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

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