by Jean Racine
Directed by Muriel Mayette-Holtz


16 October 2010 - 4 February 2011



2010-10-16 00:00:00 2011-02-04 00:00:00

When Orestes arrives in Epirus to ask Pyrrhus to surrender Andromache’s young son Astyanax, who represents a threat to the Greeks, his request is refused by the king, who wants to please Hector’s widow, whom he is in love with.

But Andromache resists his attentions, remaining true to her husband’s memory. Ignoring Orestes’ ardent declarations, Hermione, the daughter of Helen and Menelas, loves Pyrrhus, to whom she is betrothed. She has come from Sparta to marry him; he disdains her. In struggling to break free of the terrible dilemma in which they find themselves caught, this love-tormented quartet sets in motion the tragedy that will determine their fate. Urged on by Hermione, Orestes causes Pyrrhus’ death on the day of his wedding with Andromache, who had consented to the union to save her son. Doomed to the punishment of the furies, Hermione stabs herself over Pyrrhus’ body. Andromache becomes queen and a widow a second time, while Pylades saves Orestes, who has gone mad, from the vengeance of the people.

Jean Racine, the author
Jean Racine’s Andromache was performed by the Royal Troupe on 17 November 1667 in the queen’s chambers when he was 28 years old. The title role was played by Mlle Du Parc. The performance stirred a great deal of talk about the play and its author, and was appreciated by Their Majesties. Racine, as he neared maturity, had produced a masterpiece. In the following decade, he wrote Britannicus (1669), Bérénice (1671), Bajazet (1672), Iphigénie (1674) and Phèdre (1677). In 1672, he was elected to the French Academy where he moved in circles close to power. In 1689 and 1690, his two biblical tragedies Esther and Athalie were performed in St. Cyr for Louis XIV. He died in 1699 after writing an abridged history of Port Royal (Abrégé de l’histoire de Port-Royal).

Muriel Mayette-Holtz, the director
Since 2006, Muriel Mayette-Holtz has been the general administrator of the Comédie-Française, which she joined as an actress in 1985 after graduating from the Conservatory, becoming its 477th sociétaire in 1988. She has performed many roles at the Comédie-Française, working with various directors, including Antoine Vitez, Claude Régy, Jacques Lassalle, Matthias Langhoff and Alain Françon. Alongside acting, she has pursued a career as a director (Fernand Crommelynk, Thomas Bernhard, Bernard-Marie Koltès, Pierre Corneille, Georges Feydeau, Dario Fo). This season she is directing William Shakespeare with A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Salle Richelieu, and Marguerite Duras with The Malady of Death at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier. As a companion piece to Andromache, Muriel Mayette-Holtz also staged Racine’s Bérénice in 2011. In her view, in French drama, the alexandrine meter represents the music of the soul and Andromache is like a song of the dead that exposes beings torn between duty and passion. Deprived of the detachment of reason, the characters of this tragedy push themselves to the point of self-destruction: the alexandrine as a permanent lapsus of conflicting feelings.




Creative team

Direction: Muriel Mayette-Holtz
Direction assistant: Josepha Micard
Scenography and lights: Yves Bernard
Scenography assistant: Michel Rose
Costumes: Virginie Merlin
Music: Arthur Besson
Dramaturgy: Laurent Muhleisen


the company

  • push1718-cecilebrune


    Andromaque, veuve d’Hector, captive de Pyrrhus

    See biography
  • portraitericruf1920-push


    Pyrrhus, fils d’Achille, roi d’Epire

    See biography
  • push1718-celinasamie


    Céphise, confidente d’Andromaque

    See biography
  • push1718-leoniesimaga


    Hermione, fille d’Hélène, accordée avec Pyrrhus

    See biography
  • 32-clementhervieuleger-push


    Oreste, fils d’Agamemnon

    See biography
  • push-stephanevarupenne2023


    Pylade, ami d’Oreste

    See biography
  • 29-sulianebrahim-push


    Cléone, confidente d’Hermione

    See biography
  • aurelien-recoing


    Phoenix, gouverneur d’Achille, et ensuite de Pyrrhus(en alternance)

  • 18-elsalepoivre-push


    Cléone, confidente d’Hermione

    See biography

Ce spectacle est accessible aux personnes sourdes et malentendantes
29/11/2010 - 20:30
05/12/2010 - 14:00
23/01/2011 - 20:30
01/02/2011 - 20:30
08/02/2011 - 20:30

Ce spectacle est accessible aux personnes aveugles et malvoyantes
21/11/2010 - 14:00
02/12/2010 - 20:30
21/01/2011 - 20:30
22/01/2011 - 14:00
14/02/2011 - 20:30

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En raison du renforcement des mesures de sécurité dans le cadre du plan Vigipirate « Sécurité renforcée - risque attentat », nous vous demandons de vous présenter 30 minutes avant le début de la représentation afin de faciliter le contrôle.

Nous vous rappelons également qu’un seul sac (de type sac à main, petit sac à dos) par personne est admis dans l’enceinte des trois théâtres de la Comédie-Française. Tout spectateur se présentant muni d’autres sacs (sac de courses, bagage) ou objets encombrants, se verra interdire l’entrée des bâtiments.