Photo : Programme © Fabrice Roque
In partnership with Ay-Roop
Groupe Merci
Artistic jousting with theatrical and circus stunts
From the age of 14
Groupe Merci’s series of “short forms” started with Minetti in 2015, based on a text commissioned from author Éric Arlix in order to experiment once again with the formal limits of theatricalisation. Programme is a true battle between text, stunts and politics, with a narrator speaking in the second person singular to a circus artist seeking to reproduce the instructions given. Featuring barked orders to comply with incomprehensible rules against a backdrop of iron, instability, bodies and sweat, this forty-minute balancing and acrobatics act on apparatus denounces the confines of neo-management and post-modern capitalism.

Similar to English visual artist Simon Starling’s work representing anxiety and brutal reality, author Éric Arlix’s Programme features dynamic, quickfire coaching speak that plunges us into a blind world where individuals lose all sense of identity. Using this management language, performance optimisation disorder and instructions, scenographer Joël Fesel catapults Georges Campagnac and Eliott Pinceau Orcier into an impressive verbal and physical balancing match, drawing on games machines, quotes and video game references.

Groupe Merci’s allegorical and performance piece presents this caustic observation of an absurd, deadly way of life. A system of doors, bridges and ladders form six miniature stages that serve as apparatus for a battle raging between word and body, humour and brutality, anguish and worry, conditioning and freedom, poetic escape and the world as we know it.

Ideology is played out before our eyes, raising the question of the potential of emancipatory systems within this virtual world of hyper-modernity and capitalist imprisonment. This is set to be a great and highly successful Programme.


Director Solange Oswald and Artist Joël Fesel have been based in Toulouse since 1996, working with Groupe Merci to experiment with a mix of theatre, poetry and the visual arts. Through various “nocturnal objects” (currently numbering around twenty), they explore non-theatrical spaces and invent immersive performance journeys. The stage becomes the backdrop to dialogue between the dramaturgy of texts by living authors and that of the space, to produce a contemporary poem in unexpected places, presented using original and atypical systems. The audience has a central role, whether in the figure theatre show Réserve d’Acteurs, over the pit in Européana, in the choral theatre of Génie du proxénétisme, in the camp of La Mastication des morts, or in the intimate address of Merci, etc. The company also works at Pavillon Mazar, a permanent performing arts laboratory in Toulouse.


Texte : Éric Arlix.
Commandé par le Mac/Val en 2010 pour la collection Fiction (commande d’une œuvre de fiction sur l’œuvre de l’artiste Simon Starling).
Une création du Groupe Merci.
Objet nocturne no 26.
Conception et scénographie : Joël Fesel.
Avec la complicité de : Marie-Laure Hée et de Pierre Déaux.
Création lumière et régie : Raphaël Sevet.
Construction machines : Alexandre Bügel.
Administration : Aurore Carpentier.
Production, diffusion : Céline Maufra.
Remerciements : Gabrielle Vinson.
Avec : Georges Campagnac, Eliott Pineau Orcier.


Production : Groupe Merci.
Soutien : Conseil Départemental de la Haute-Garonne.
Accueil en résidence : CIRCa, Pôle National Cirque, Auch Gers Occitanie.
Le Groupe Merci est conventionné par la DRAC Occitanie, la Région Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée et la Ville de Toulouse.
Avec le soutien du Conseil Départemental de la Haute-Garonne.

Wednesday 03 July 2019
20:30 > 21:15
Théâtre du Vieux Saint-Etienne, Rennes
Thursday 04 July 2019
20:30 > 21:15
Théâtre du Vieux Saint-Etienne, Rennes
Friday 05 July 2019
20:30 > 21:15
Théâtre du Vieux Saint-Etienne, Rennes

5€ / 2€ Sortir !
Station de Métro : Sainte-Anne • Lignes de Bus : C1,C5,12, arrêt Sainte-Anne - 31, arrêt Dinan • Station Vélo : Sainte-Anne
cognitif moteur
2 places PMR
Skip to content
The association is supported by the City of Rennes, the Brittany Region, the Ille-et-Vilaine Department & the ministry of culture.

© TDN 2024