Hecuba, not Hecuba

Tiago Rodrigues

Comédie-Française, Paris, FRA
  • 11. 9.2024
    Grand Theatre
  • 12. 9.2024
    Grand Theatre

Duration: 105 min and has no intermission

Tiago Rodrigues

Tiago Rodrigues

Thomas Resendes

Fernando Ribeiro

José António Tenente

Rui Monteiro

Pedro Costa

Sophie Bricaire

With the troupe of Comédie-Française
Éric Génovèse
Denis Podalydès
Elsa Lepoivre
Loïc Corbery
Gaël Kamilindi
Élissa Alloula
Séphora Pondi


Festival d’Avignon

Set construction and costumes
Workshops of Comédie-Française

In collaboration with ThéâtredelaCite - CDN de Toulouse Occitanie.

The show, premiered on June 30, 2024 at the Festival d’Avignon, will be presented, after a tour of France and Europe, at the Comédie-Française Salle Richelieu from May 28 to July 25, 2025.

Jean-Louis Fernadez, coll. Comédie-Française
30 June 2024

For his first collaboration with Comédie-Française troupe, Tiago Rodrigues, playwright, director, and director of the Avignon Festival, takes on the story of Hecuba. As is customary in his theater, with a direct address to the audience, he intertwines the timeless issues of the ancient Trojan woman with those of a modern woman, an actress and mother, caught in similar torments. Tiago Rodrigues often says he doesn’t write plays for the theater, but for the actors who bring them to life. Here, an actress rehearses Euripides’ “Hecuba”. She plays the role of Priam’s widow.

She who, in the defeat of Troy, lost everything: her husband, her throne, her freedom, and, to her greatest sorrow, almost all of her children. She is a woman who demands justice. Yet the fictional tragedy painfully intertwines with the intimate reality of the actress, whose autistic son has been a victim of abuse, a situation she condemns and protests against. The rehearsal period of the play overlaps ambiguously with that of a judicial investigation. In a unique and twilight-like setting, two worlds come into contact with each other, in a troubled and troubling intertwining, between the tragedy of myth and that of reality, between the play of theater and that of justice.

Playwright and director, Tiago Rodrigues encountered the Belgian company tgSTAN in 1997, while he was still a student, an encounter that definitively confirmed his commitment to the collective spirit within theatrical creation. Co-founder, with Magda Bizarro, of the company Mundo Perfeito in 2003 in Lisbon, he has since created nearly thirty productions in over twenty countries. These include António e Cleópatra based on Shakespeare in 2015, Bovary based on Gustave Flaubert’s novel, The Way She Dies based on Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” with tgSTAN, and Dans la mesure de l’impossible, a play he wrote based on interviews with thirty members of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières. After leading the Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II in Lisbon from 2015 to 2021, he took over as director of the Avignon Festival in 2023. There, he notably created Chekhov’s La Cerisaie in the Cour d’honneur of the Palais des papes in 2022. His theatrical work, written in Portuguese and published in French by Les Solitaires Intempestifs, has been translated into 9 languages (French, Spanish, Dutch, Estonian, Italian, Romanian, German, Arabic, and Korean).

Édito D ’Éric Ruf, General manager of Comédie-Française: "I love Tiago Rodrigues’ theater, and I love that its quality, as deeply profound as it is solidly simple, resembles him to such an extent. There’s a rare alignment between this man and his theater, and I wanted the Troupe to experience it, and for the spectators, at the Avignon Festival and then on tour in various theaters across Europe and in the regions, and of course at the Salle Richelieu in Paris, to benefit from it. For three seasons now, we’ve been discussing this possibility together, and his appointment as head of the Avignon Festival has delayed and then enriched our project. Tiago will, as he does so well, take hold of Euripides’ Hecuba, this avenging figure, and inscribe – write – a parallel story inspired by a state scandal of mistreatment of autistic children. The intertwining of the two texts shows us the infernal recurrence of our woes and our unquenchable thirst for justice. Tiago Rodrigues writes for the actors and actresses of the Troupe, checking step by step and through their voices the progress of his work. I’m already looking forward to the happy drifting of these wandering projects."

Comédie-Française is a national theatre that tours every season, both in France and abroad, performing in nearly 80 countries, a tradition that dates to its origins. Comédie-Française’s troupe is the oldest active in the world. This organization is anchored by the Société des Comédiens-Français, which was established in 1681 and ensures the preservation and advancement of its art. Simul and Singulis, which means ‘to be together and to be oneself’, represents the functioning of the organization: a place where there is abundance of creativity and perpetual renewal, while also being a conservatory of the arts of saying, a space of ripening and a hearth of creation. With about thirty shows presented each season in its three theaters in Paris and on tour - mostly built in its workshops - Comédie-Française is a hive of more than 70 jobs exercised by nearly 450 people, including about sixty actors and actresses. The spectrum of professions extends from the craft trades to those of the administration in a «micro-society» where traditional techniques and latest technologies mix. Comédie-Française presents theatres from all eras, French and foreign, by alternating classical and contemporary repertoire.