NO IDEA Two seemingly ordinary men meet in the corridor of a seemingly ordinary apartment building. But nothing else is ordinary in this new production by the renowned Christoph Marthaler: audiences find themselves in an absurd world full of wistful humour and music. For this production, featuring excerpts from the works of Henri Michaux, Georges Perec and Kurt Schwitters, the director once again joined forces with Scottish actor Graham F. Valentine and musician Martin Zeller.
Whether Marthaler stages dramatic texts, takes inspiration from existing works or creates original lyrical pieces, one cannot help but admire his brilliant intelligence, boldness and imagination.
– Armelle Héliot, Le Figaro
His productions develop the art of pantomime and reveal a penchant for burlesque. They offer unconventional readings of classic texts with a unique ability to switch gears from laughter to melancholy.
– René Solis, Libération
The Swiss-German director and his alter ego, actor Graham F. Valentine, revel in the extravagancy of surreal cabaret like masters of the theatre of the absurd.
– Patrick Sourd, Les Inrocks
CHRISTOPH MARTHALER (1951) was born in Erlenbach in the canton of Zürich, Switzerland, where he first studied the oboe and flute. He took his first theatre steps at the École Lecoq, just after May 1968 in Paris. Inspired by his two artistic worlds, he created plays where music and words were in continual dialogue. His key collaborators include set designers Anna Viebrock and Duri Bischoff and playwrights Stephanie Carp and Malte Ubenhauf. His productions, including a number of successful operas, have been staged at festivals throughout Europe for many years. He was first introduced to Czech audiences in 1998 as part of the Prague Theatre Festival of the German Language with Zero Hour or The Art of Serving from Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg and Kill the European! from Berlin's Volksbühne, followed by Shakespeare’s What You Will from Schauspielhaus Zürich and, most recently, King Size from Theater Basel. As a director, he stands out for his innovative aesthetic, with plays that are firmly rooted in everyday environments such as waiting rooms, cafés, or pharmacies, thus shaking up forms of representation. A master of deliberation, irony, and discrepancy, he has invented an entirely unique theatrical poetry, comprising words, songs, and music.
THÉÂTRE VIDY-LAUSANNE is one of Switzerland’s most important art institutions, located in the city of Lausanne in the district of Vidy, after which it takes its name. It is housed in a building designed by architect Max Bill for the 1964 National Exhibition, with beautiful views of Lake Geneva and the Alpine peaks. Today, there are four state-of-the-art halls that allow the theatre to co-produce extraordinary productions. Under the leadership of Vincent Baudriller, the theatre collaborates with leading European artists (in addition to Christoph Marthaler, it also works with Vincent Macaigne, Thomas Ostermeier, Nicolas Stemann and Frank Castorf) and also supports young Swiss theatre talents. At the 2018 Divadlo festival in Pilsen, the theatre presented Nachlass by Stefan Kaegi and Dominic Huber.