Mao II is a portrait of a retired writer who has been refusing to write off his great novel project for twenty-five years. He breaks through his self-imposed isolation when he becomes the key figure in an attempt to liberate a poet taken hostage in war-torn Beirut. The title refers to the famous portrait of Mao by Andy Warhol, examines human nature on the basis of the behaviour of crowds as well as that of the individual. “Today the men who shape and influence human consciousness are the terrorists”, DeLillo himself said about this.
Duration: 3h and 10 min, no intermission
Language: French with Dutch surtitles
Su 14 apr: marathon
‘All aspects of Gosselin’s show – acting, film, dramaturgy, polymorphous scenery and live music – are superb.’ – The Guardian *****
The performance is a portrait of a retired writer who has been refusing to write off his great novel project for twenty-five years. He breaks through his self-imposed isolation when he becomes the key figure in an attempt to liberate a poet taken hostage in war-torn Beirut.
In Mao II (published in 1991) DeLillo very precisely predicted an age of terror, and asked the question what art can do to combat dogmatism and violence on a massive scale.
Joueurs, Mao II, Les Noms is the first part of a major project by Julien Gosselin, based on the work of American writer Don DeLillo. The separate parts can be seen prior to this marathon performance on 14 April.
With French director Julien Gosselin (Les Particules Élementaires and 2666), we will be adding one of the world’s greatest young directing talents to our theatre company. In his debut at ITA, Falling Man, he reflects on global terrorism and its effect on a family in New York during the aftermath of 9/11.
The performance is part of Gosselin’s great international Don DeLillo project, the first part of which will premiere at the Festival d’Avignon this summer. Part two, Falling Man with Eelco Smits, Hans Kesting, Maria Kraakman et al., will have its world premiere in March. ITA is the only place in the world where both parts will be performed.
Julien Gosselin has attended the EPSAD (Professionnel Graduate School of Dramatic Art) in Lille, directed by Stuart Seide. As an actor, he’s worked with Lucie Berelowitch, Laurent Hatat and Tiphaine Raffier. Then, as an assistant director, he has worked with Pierre Foviau, Laurent Hatat ans Stuart Seide.
In 2009, with six actors of his class, he founds the company Si Vous Pouviez Léchez Mon Cœur (i.e. If You Could Lick My Heart), and stages in 2010 Fausto’s Paravidino’s Gênes 01, first at the Théâtre du Nord, then on tour.
The next year, still with SVPLMC, he stages Tristesse Animal Noir, the French creation of Anja Hilling’s Black Animal Sadness, first at the Théâtre de Vanves, then on tour in 2012. In 2012, at the invitation of Vincent Baudriller, he takes part to the Kadmos program.
In July 2013, at the Festival d’Avignon, he stages for the first time his adaptation of Michel Houellebecq’s novel Les Particules Élémentaires (i.e. Atomised), which is SVPLMC’s third creation. In 2014, at the invitation of the Théâtre National de Bruxelles, he creates Je Ne Vous Ai Jamais Aimés, a long musical poem inspired by a text written by Pascal Bouaziz and projected on a large screen.
In 2015, he stages Stéphanie Chaillou’s Le Père at the Théâtre National de Toulouse. In 2016, he creates Roberto Bolano’s 2666, at the Festival d’Avignon then on tour (Paris, Athens, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Tianjin, Cologne) In 2017, he stages at the Festival de Marseille, Aurelien Belanger’s 1993, with the actors from the TNS school.
Julien Gosselin and Si vous pouviez lécher mon cœur are partners of The Phénix, Scène Nationale in résidence in Valenciennes and of the Théâtre National de Strasbourg.
In 2021, Julien Gosselin and Si vous pouviez lécher mon cœur will settle in Calais on the port. A theater factory that will mark the beginning of a new era for the company.