»It’s not just about portraying the world anymore. It’s about changing it.« These words set the tone of the manifesto written by Milo Rau for his term as the new director of the NTGent. The so-called documentary works of the Swiss-born artist, one of the most controversial and successful contemporary theatre makers and recipient of the 2018 European Theatre Prize, rub salt into present-day wounds. And they really do bring about change: The Congo Tribunal, for example, forced two ministers to resign. In Vienna, a city in which his stagings have rarely been shown to date, he will present a brand-new work at the Wiener Festwochen. In Orestes in Mosul, based on the ancient tragedy by Aeschylus, Rau sticks to his manifesto that states »literal adaptation is forbidden«. What interests him about Oresteia is the birth of a modern legal system. Only a trial leading to a possible reintegration into society can break the gory vicious circle of murder and revenge. Rau’s research has taken him to Iraq, where he uses the ient tragedy as a tool to delve into the current conflict: how can we deal with the violence in the Middle East and, more specifically, ISIS without falling into archaic patterns?
- Artistic Team
Director Milo Rau With Duraid Abbas, Susana AbdulMajid, Elsie de Brauw, Risto Kübar, Johan Leysen, Bert Luppes, Marijke Pinoy Team Iraq on video: Musicians Suleik Salim Al-Khabbaz, Saif Al-Taee, Firas Atraqchi, Nabeel Atraqchi, Zaidun Haitham, Rabee Nameer Actors Baraa Ali, Khalid Rawi, Khitam Idress Chorus Rayan Shihab Ahmed, Hathal Al-Hianey, Mustafa Dargham, Younis Anad Gabori, Ahmed Abdul Razzaq Hussein, Abdallah Nawfal, Mohamed Saalim , Hassan Taha Dramaturgy Stefan Bläske Text Milo Rau and Ensemble, based on Aeschylos Set ruimtevaarders Costume design An De Mol Light design Dennis Diels Film and Live camera Moritz von Dungern Film Daniel Demoustier Film editing Joris Vertenten musical arrangement Saskia Venegas Aernaudt direction assistance Katelijne Laevens second direction assistance Bo Alfaro Decreton production manager Noemi Suarez Sanchez stage manager Marijn Vlaeminck technical production Oliver Houttekiet sound Dimitri Devos video technique Stijn Pauwels light technique Dennis Diels stage technique Jeroen Vanhoutte dressers Nancy Colman, Micheline D’Hertoge assistance dramaturgy, creation subtitles Eline Banke internship dramaturgy Liam Rees internship video technique Mattis Clement
Production NTGent, Schauspielhaus Bochum Co-production TANDEM Scène Nationale (Douai/Arras) In collaboration with Action Zoo Humain With support of Romaeuropa Festival
This performance was realised with the support granted thanks to the Belgian Tax Shelter system.
Premiere April 2019, NTGent
Milo Rau, born 1977 in Bern, is a director and author and since the 2018/19 season artistic director of the NTGent in Belgium. He studied sociology, German and Romance languages and literature in Paris, Berlin and Zurich under Pierre Bourdieu and Tzvetan Todorov, among others. Since 2002 he has published more than 50 plays, films, books and interventions. In 2007, Milo Rau founded the theatre and film production company IIPM – International Institute of Political Murder for the creation and utilisation of his artistic works.
His theatre productions and films (The Last Days of the Ceausescus, Hate Radio, City of Change, Breivik’s Statement, The Moscow Trials, The Civil Wars, The Dark Ages, The Congo Tribunal, Compassion. The History of the Machine Gun, Five Easy Pieces and Empire, among others) have toured more than 30 countries and appeared at the most important national and international festivals, including the Berlin Theatertreffen, the Festival d'Avignon, the Biennale Teatro in Venice, the Wiener Festwochen and the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. He has received many honours, most recently the European Theatre Prize 2018, the Peter-Weiss-Prize 2017, the 3sat-Prize 2017, the 2017 Saarbrucken Poetry Lectureship for Drama and, in 2016, the prestigious World Theatre Day ITI Prize, as youngest artist ever after Frank Castorf and Pina Bausch. In 2017, Milo Rau was voted Acting Director of the Year in the critics' survey conducted by the Deutsche Bühne. Alongside his work for stage and film, Milo Rau is a critic, lecturer and author. His political essay Was tun? Kritik der postmodernen Vernunft (What Is to Be Done? A Critique of Postmodern Reason) achieved a bestseller status. His production The Civil Wars has been presented at the Wiener Festwochen 2015.