Caroline Guiela Nguyen
A restaurant, stuck in a liminal space/time continuum, somewhere between 1990s Paris and 1950s Saigon, with Vietnamese pop music and French chansons playing in the background. Eleven characters cross paths on the stage. The characters, of French, Vietnamese of French-Vietnamese descent, much like the actors portraying them, share landscapes, faces, songs and a language which, for some of them, survives only in their memories. They meet for dinner, drink, dance, sing, fall in love, celebrate life. In 1956, a French soldier is about to leave Indochina and convinces his Vietnamese mistress to follow him to France. In 1996, in Paris, Vietnamese exiles are allowed to return home for the first time in decades. Where is home, though?
Caroline Guiela Nguyen, herself the daughter of a Vietnamese refugee in France, presents a heartbreaking, deeply moving, polyphonic story, whose male and female voices bear the traumas of history. SAIGON is a wounded land always someone missing, always someone to mourn.
28 June / Post-performance talk with the actors
Text Caroline Guiela Nguyen with the whole artistic team
Directed by Caroline Guiela Nguyen
Artistic collaboration Claire Calvi
Set design Alice Duchange
Lighting design Jérémie Papin
Sound and music design Antoine Richard
Composition Teddy Gauliat-Pitois
Dramaturgy and surtitles Jérémie Scheidler, Manon Worms
Translation Duc Duy Nguyen, Thi Thanh Thu Tô
Cast Caroline Arrouas, Dan Artus, Adeline Guillot, Thi Truc Ly Huynh, Hoàng Son Lê, Phú Hau Nguyen, My Chau Nguyen Thi, Pierric Plathier, Thi Thanh Thu Tô, Anh Tran Nghia, Hiep Tran Nghia
Production Les Hommes Approximatifs
Executive production La Comédie de Valence, Centre dramatique national Drôme-Ardèche
Co-production Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, MC2: Grenoble, Festival d'Avignon, Centre dramatique national de Normandie-Rouen, Théâtre national de Strasbourg, Théâtre Olympia Centre dramatique national de Tours, Comédie de Reims, Théâtre national de Bretagne, Théâtre du Beauvaisis Scène nationale, Théâtre de La Croix-Rousse (Lyon)
Financial support Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Conseil départemental de la Drôme, Institut français à Paris
Kind support Institut français du Vietnam, Université de théâtre et de cinéma de Hô Chi Minh-Ville, La Chartreuse, Villeneuve lez Avignon – Centre national des écritures du spectacle
The text is laureate to the Commission nationale d’aide à la création de textes dramatiques - ARTCENA
Artistic participation from Jeune théâtre national
Construction of the decor Workshops of Odéon, théâtre de l’Europe.