La Nuit des rois ou Tout ce que vous voulez

Twelfth Night or What you will
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Thomas Ostermeier


22 September 2018 - 28 February 2019


La Nuit des rois ou Tout...

2018-09-22 20:30:00 2019-02-28 20:30:00

Thomas Ostermeier highlights the depth of the existential questions that Shakespeare draws from this amorous plot revolving around disguised identities.

For his first production at the Comédie-Française, Thomas Ostermeier is returning to an author he has regularly frequented. The artistic director of the Berlin Schaubühne, known for stagings that combine fidelity to the dramatic situation with freedom of interpretation, is focusing increasingly on what he calls the actor-creator. In this production, he has his actors enter Illyria, the kingdom of illusion and artifice, which he gives form to as a landscape of emotions with a dangerous underside where madness prowls. This comedy of appearances tells the story of Viola, the survivor of a shipwreck –like her twin Sebastian from whom she has been separated– who disguises herself, takes on the name of Cesario and offers her services to Duke Orsino. Charmed, the latter takes Cesario/Viola on as his page and tasks him/her with transmitting his love to the Countess Olivia. But Cesario/Viola, secretly attracted to the Duke, excels so well in his/her mission that the Countess is swept away by his/her ardour. At the same time, a quartet, with eminently comical manoeuvres, heightens the violent side of the romantic masquerade while a fool excels insolently in the art of subverting language.
Twelfth Night entered the repertoire in 1940 but has not been performed since 2003. Thomas Ostermeier presents it in a new translation by Olivier Cadiot, and with an original score based on Renaissance music and performed live on stage. Beyond the festive aspect of the play, he highlights the depth of the existential questions that Shakespeare draws from this amorous plot revolving around disguised identities. In this disorder of the emotions, he focuses on how bewildering the awakening of desire can be, how disturbing the question of gender, and how complex the social determination that affects the intimate sphere.

Specific room plan

In Cinemas
Pathé Live: 14 February

With the patronage of Grant Thornton

Creative team

Adaptation and staging: Thomas Ostermeier
Translation: Olivier Cadiot
Scenography and costumes: Nina Wetzel
Light: Marie-Christine Soma
Original music and musical direction: Nils Ostendorf
Dramaturgy and assistant director: Elisa Leroy
Dramaturgy advice: Christian Longchamp
Choreographic work: Glysleïn Lefever
Battle setting: Jérôme Westholm
Collaboration on scenography and costumes: Charlotte Spichalsky


the company

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    Orsino, duc d’Illyrie

    See biography
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    Sir Toby Haut LeCœur, parent d’Olivia

    See biography
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    Feste, fou d’Olivia

    See biography
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    Olivia, comtesse

    See biography
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    Viola, déguisée sous le nom de Césario

    See biography
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    Malvolio, intendant d’Olivia, et Prêtre

    See biography
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    Antonio, marin, ami de Sébastien et Valentin, gentilhomme de la suite d’Orsino

    See biography
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    Maria, suivante d’Olivia

    See biography
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    Sir Andrew Gueule de Fièvre, ami de Sir Toby

    See biography
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    Sébastien, frère jumeau de Viola

    See biography
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    Curio, gentilhomme de la suite d’Orsino, le Capitaine du vaisseau naufragé, ami de Viola et Officier au service d’Orsino

    See biography

Counter-tenor: Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian and Paul Figuier (alternately)
Théorbe: Clément Latour and Damien Pouvreau (alternately)


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En raison du renforcement des mesures de sécurité dans le cadre du plan Vigipirate « Urgence 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.