Any project may take a specific, sometimes unexpected direction...
Some projects barely have time to be before they materialise in the creative process.
Some have been on the journey with me for so long, they've become my fellow travellers...
Some projects I cannot define quite yet... Directing a play by Bertolt Brecht... approaching a Sarraute trilogy...

The Silence by Nathalie Sarraute, directed by Anne Petit, scenography by Kays Rostom, music by Dominique Probst
" "This silence is like a net. It is looking at us wriggling…" (Le Silence, H2) "They are from nowhere, they speak; they are going nowhere but where their words take them" Arnaud Rykner (Preface Gallimard Folio Théâtre)

There a space where spaces get intertwined. There is the space for language, the space for silence, the space where characters come together. Language, its variations, its movements. An ensemble, a choir... No need to look for bonds between characters other than what exists between musicians in an orchestra: just play your piece. Except that there, there is no conductor, everyone is on their own, all are caught in the swirl of a potentially endless cycle... There is something about this which seems to happen in camera. Maybe they are like Sisyphus, forever doomed to dissecting over and over again the tiniest movements of their souls... Maybe... We may not know where those seven characters come from, nor where they are going, yet they are not disembodied. And, come that performance time, they will be there, bearing the intensity, the cruelty, the humour and the violence of the stinging, disturbing, hurting words... until it all turns into a bloodshed... An insignificant detail, caught in the trap of an obsessional spiral, will sand the conversation down to its core. Caustic, very caustic...
The work on language that I have been carrying out for years will as usual be the core of interpretation. The breathing work, after the syntactic cut-up of the text, will lead the actors to swim in deep waters and approach the characters' essence.
Presence, absence, characters – facing or turning their backs at the audience... I have often worked on the dimension of the back, this crouching presence that puts words into perspective.
An original music, just like in all my shows. Around the landslides, the sideslips, the derailments of time. Around that type of humour. And there again, constructions and superimpositions. Music and spoken voices, live or off. Moments when words string together, when music develops. Music, linked with silence. The idea that it is always there, just like Time, but only in full silence can one hear it...
Words piercing music? Just like words pierce Silence?





It's beautiful by Nathalie Sarraute, directed by Anne Petit, scenography by Kays Rostom, music by Dominique Probst
"Beyond the question of the work of art, beyond the relationships between parents and children... the very foundations of all human relationships as well as the foundations of our relationship with Reality are at stake” Arnaud Rykner (Preface Gallimard Folio Théâtre)

Characters: HE, SHE, THE SON, and VOICES.
A father and a mother do not dare to express the emotion suggested by the work of art at which they are looking before their son's disapproving eyes. The VOICES are questioning them. Inner VOICES? Other people's VOICES? Underneath a softened appearance, nothing is reasonable. The more clear-cut the framework, the more erupting the madness...
It is essential to find out how to represent this work of art. The first lines... could be said in the dark. Then with the lights on comes the discovery of the scenic space and of the three characters facing the work of art in question, facing... the audience.
Eyes and VOICES weave an unfathomed web in which HE and SHE get lost, panic, struggle "Is this going to carry on much longer? Enough…I can't take it anymore. Stop it..." (HIM)
HE and SHE are looking at the artwork. The SON looking at his parents looking at the artwork.
The eyes… of the VOICES: others looking at HIM and HER – what kind of parents are they?
How does THE SON behave?
HIS eyes on HER, HER eyes on HIM.
The parents' look upon themselves, feeling looked at by THE SON and all the others, feeling embarrassed, disturbed, guilt-tripped.
The VOICES, like a chorus… Dramatic thread, the VOICES relentlessly leading the action: the dissection of the couple's most deep-rooted motivations, questioning, stirring up, revealing, hunting down…every corner of the consciousness and beyond.
In the oscillating balance of power between HER and HIM, each on their turn calls upon the VOICES...
Beyond pretexts and words, there is something wild, something fierce in this quest for authenticity... Which leads us to the absurd, where violence, though underlying, is always present...
The authenticity of the emotion felt before a work of art, but also the authenticity in communicating this emotion, the authenticity of the relation to the others, to language, to words. Do words translate the authenticity of the sensation or do they betray it? And everything that is thought of, barely formulated, everything said between the words, how can that be expressed in communication? Can this whole even express itself? Maybe up to a point, in the way words vibrate and resonate, and in the silence, in the pauses between the words, crackling, breaking apart the surface of the discourse. Beyond words, rifts, "the empty spaces" (1)…
And this leads to the acting process, to the deep breathing of the text and to my own work on the language. A particular treatment for the VOICES, fugitively haunting or troubling … like a counterpoint to the corrosive humour of the text and to its pieces of anthology such as the parents' constant feeling of guilt, the mother's guilt before the "shock" SHE regrets having inflicted to the poor little one, still an embryo in her belly, when she let herself be carried away by an "awful thought"...
An on-the-edge performance, from amusing to disturbing and vice-versa.

(1) Nathalie Sarraute in/ L'Usage de la parole published by Folio Gallimard





The Prince – adapted from The Constant Prince, a comedia famosa by Calderon de la Barca. Translated by Philippe Minyana and Jean-Jacques Préau, published by Editions théâtrales Maison Antoine Vitez. "Opéra-théâtre". Adaptation by Anne Petit. Music by Dominique Probst, Ramon de Herrera. Scenography by Kays Rostom.

Ten characters including Infante Ferdinand; the King of Fez; Fenix, his daughter; Muley, his nephew; a chorus of singer-narrators (three minimum); two opera singers (a man and a woman)...

As one of Calderon's early plays (1628), The Constant Prince is a powerful face-off between two civilisations – Christian Europe and Moorish Africa. The Christians want Tangier and its shores to secure the strategic take of Ceuta, the Moors want to keep Tangier and its shores to siege and try to take back the strategic location of Ceuta... Draw between the two parts... Two world visions... To each its magnificence and/or mistakes... The action takes place in Morocco. The Christians storm onto the shore of Tangier on the first day.
As it is Calderon's habit, a provocative outlook:
. The Portuguese – whose history with Spain has always been chaotic – are the ones representing the values of Christianity in this play; what's more, it is about the dynasty that was going to win renown for the Discovery of the World
. at a time when the Spanish Inquisition is an all-powerful institution, Calderon, portraying a battle lost by the Christians, displays the greatness of the Kingdom of Morocco and the grandeur of its dignitaries…
. the same honour codes rule the friendship between Moorish General Muley and Christian Prince Ferdinand.

On stage, the baroque explosions of a genre ruled by the only law of “the poetic truth”, confronted with the main thread of Prince Ferdinand's trajectory. As the King of Fez notes it with bitterness and some secret curiosity, Prince Ferdinand chooses himself to go down the whole way of martyrdom.
An original music, a choreography favouring the art and intensity of single combat, contemporary costumes in a nude space adjusted to the different levels of a floor... Light towers. Deserted places from which shadows are born.

Working on the French translation, depending on my work on the language, following the language-to-language syntactic movement. Keeping the asperities, the metaphors' and images' exuberance... Working on words in their different constructions (uttering, canons, echoes, rhythmic speech...) which I set up these past few years, particularly in directing By the Tagus..., Antigone, Tragedies, splinters...
The musicality of languages combined – Spanish, the poet's language, in turn spoken, sung by the singers or by the chorus; Portuguese (the Captives' song, songs of “Saudade”); literary Arabic, declaimed in some scenes. Poetic and musical digressions, understanding of the remaining text in French. There will be a language dramaturgy to determine the adaptation's framework, just as there will be a dramaturgy of musical composition, a dramaturgy of space, a dramaturgy about Calderon and his time – the time of the Constant Prince – and a dramaturgy about resonances the text has today. Several collaborators.

Landscapes with no Ships by Maria Judite de Carvalho, adapted by Anne Petit, decors by Jose Manuel Castanheira, music by Ramon de Herrera

Jô – short for Joana – lives alone in Lisbon towards the end of the fifties. Her solitude is punctuated by the telephone's stridency. Jô likes to hear the voices, relieved that she does not have to face anyone's eyes.
Paula, her brilliantly-married childhood friend, talking about her mundane life. Her mother warding off time going by and her fear of dying as much as she can.
Mario's look she can accept. His voice comes from far away... The love of her eighteens who fled to Brazil after a “wrongdoing” which Jô probably had to pay off more than he did, calls her back upon his return to Lisbon, twenty years later... Mario, an interlude in her life, in Jô's monotonous days, the time of a return trip. About Artur, her lover, too cautious to phone at the school where Jô works, his “once blue eyes...faded away with time". He organised his life by conforming. "When did he stop being himself?..(I)...sometimes shake up the puppet.",Jô thinks with the humour and restrained violence which characterise her.
The city is there...present. Palpitations, rumour, a daily spy mania, the weight of those years' social interactions, under the gangue of the dictatorship...
But the city also has a secret and rebel soul like Jô's. It will be expressed in fado-jazz, an original composition for guitar and sax, and in the two-dancer choreography – a man and a woman wearing fifties' style business dress. Dazzling dynamics. The shock of bodies, of things unsaid. Desire, frustration, possession, violence… The poetic dimension of this woman adrift.
Stage universe: “the island”,Jô's space and the city's labyrinth, everywhere around her. Use of the vertical dimension with the characters on the phone: Paula, Jô's mother, in bubbles – some kind of suspended transparent cabins. Jô cannot see them and she responds to their voices, but the spectator can see the whole picture.
Playing with the different dimensions and the hyper-realistic colours of the repeated accessories like sofas, telephones... The soundtrack will transcribe some elements of reality, the telephone ringing, the crackling noise of the chest of drawers in the night, the rooster call in the morning, the hustle and bustle of the city... and it will integrate their obsessional dimension. Which will cause, as in all the elements of the show, a slight, a troubling distortion.

Racine-Récital Andromache, Britannicus, Berenice - fragments; music by Dominique Probst, Ramon de Herrera, design by Kays Rostom.

Each of these three tragedies has their secret pathway. From passion's fury to the fullness of forsaking. What an evolution in the art of the balance of power at which Racine excels. In turn violent, subtle, erotic, bloody. Racine is a poet of the inner self, and inhumanity is within us... so close.
After having, in Andromache and Britannicus, considered all the constraints, from the most passionate to the most political ones, which a being can enforce upon another one, Racine, in Berenice, approaches the most sublime constraint form – that which one enforces upon oneself. An evolution which resembles an initiation...
From the redeeming utopia of a union between winners and losers through Pyrrhus's fatherhood, to the monstrous birthgiving of the mother's murder in Nero's mind, and to Titus's and Berenice's free love – a loving woman's fullness, extraneous to her mother status – under Antiochus's eyes, Racine dares everything... This, the Racinian audacity, is what dramaturgy, the choice of fragments and the stage direction will focus on.
Of course the language work will be the backbone to the acting and actors directing process, in an undefinable scenic universe made out of heavy floor draperies, which will play up with movements, up to the point of impeding the characters' moves. That will contrast with the fluidity of modern costumes and of the lounging chaos on the horizon where the actors, ever on stage, will seek refuge, with the sketch of a bright rectangle on the forestage into which the recital element, the word element, the music stand will fit. A space to conquer, not easily accessible – there will be failed attempts to reach it... and once there, it will be hard for one to leave, as the others will in turn besiege, surround, harass, test, interrogate, grill them...
A different musical element for each tragedy – voice, percussion, theorbo.

  Television adaptation of Théâtralia, a Top Secret private cop...
For more info thank you to refer to writer