Les Événements

Written by David Greig / Directed by Ramin Gray

Since its creation in the United Kingdom, The Events has been played more than 400 times around the world, in the same set-up reconstructed in each city, with a new cast, and with each evening a different choir on stage. The play revolves around this simple question: why? Why do crazy killers rage on our planet? The killer is never named in the play, but it has features in common with the one who murdered 69 young Norwegians gathered on the island of Utøya in July 2011. The play also echoes the attacks in Paris and Brussels Which many call "events."

Claire, director of a choir and woman pastor of the left, lived a murderous attack that touches her closely. A young man she knew vaguely fired on "those who are not from here" and she desperately seeks to understand why he has committed such an act. Is it possible to explain his gesture without forgetting that he is from our world? "I do not want to understand what happened to me. I know what happened to me. I want to understand what happened to him. " Claire convokes in turn the relatives of the "Boy", his father, his companion, an extreme-right political leader who inspired him. Dialogue leads to permanent incommunicability and leaves room for perplexity. And if certain things escaped the domain of the comprehensible?

Far from being a biopic, Les Événements explores contradictory points of view and multiplies the gaze. The show invites us to a moment of reflection, discussion and a link to overcome the difficulty of living after such events. The presence of a choir on stage is the mirror of these anonymous killed and of ourselves. It acts as in ancient tragedies. For David Greig - the author - as for Ramin Gray - the director - the public and common space of the theater is the best forum for these efforts of understanding.

This is a co-produciton between Actors Touring Company, Centre Dramatique National Nancy Lorraine, La Manufacture and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg.


Builds to a rare emotional pitch

Alice Jones, The Independent

No.1 Best Theatre of 2013. Theatre has often attempted and failed to explore notions of madness and evil. The Events made only a glancing attempt, and was all the better for it.

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

A solemn, searching and ultimately very moving play about a faith-shattering act of violence.

Ben Brantley, New York Times

David Greig, too, once again considers the limits of our comprehension in The Events

Ian Shuttleworth, The Financial Times