Festival d’Avignon Production, Avignon, France, 1999
Author: Pierre Corneille
Directed by Declan Donnellan
about the production
It has been felt for a long time among the theatre professionals that it is necessary to over cross the taboo in staging Cid. First time Declan Donnellan staged the play twelve years ago with his company 'Cheek by owl'. But for the Festival d'Avignon he chose the text in original language and with French actors.
The stage production is a blending of two basic dramatic genres – tragedy and comedy. While the first part rests in the clash of two absolute values – love and honesty – and its final effect is tragic, the other applies the comical one so that it could trivialise them. The artistic characterisation is the empty stage bordered by boards. Only the light penetrating through them limits the dramatic space of the action. This together with the minimum of props and subtle costumes makes up rigid space. In contrast to other stage productions built up on the similar devices the performance has made a full use of it. The space is charged with meanings and offers a full opportunity to apply precise and multifaceted mastery of actors and director.
directed by: Declan Donnellan
stage Design: Philippe Marioge
lighting: Judith Greenwood
costumes: Jacques Perdiguès
assistant director: Paul Golub
second assistant director: Julie Serré
cast: Sandrine Attard, Michel Baumann, Philippe Blancher, Odile Cointepas, Joséphine Derenne, Laurent Desponds, Nicolas Ducron, Benjamin Dupé, Sarah Karbasnikoff, William Nadylam, Patrick Rameau, Yaneck Rousselet
Englishman Declan Donnellan (1953) gave up a career as barrister to found 'Cheek by Jowľ theatre company in 1981 with Nick Ormerod. With this company Donnellan began to explore the great European classics from Sophocles to Shakespeare, from Calderon to Lessing and
Ostrovski. He does not claim to attempt a different interpretation of their plays, they are classics specifically because they are always contemporary. Declan Donnellan also has directed for the Finnish National Opera, where his productions include Philoctetes and Macbeth and at the Royal National Theatre in London where his productions include Fuente Ovejuna, Peer Gynt, Sweeny Todd and Angels in America. Donnellan is an Associate Director of the Royal National Theatre and the only British independent member of the Union of European Theatre which he was invited to join in 1994. He has given workshops around the world on his acting method and has won seven Olivier Awards including the observer Award for Outstanding Achievement, an honour he shares with Peter Brook and Lev Dodin.