Ritorno a Reims

Duration: The play is currently in production

With this extraordinary transnational theatrical project, Thomas Ostermeier gets to the heart of the political and social identity of Europe, the work Ritorno a Reims - based on the essay of the same name that the French sociologist Didier Eribon published in 2009 - to stages throughout Europe, re-writing the dramaturgy each time in collaboration with the theatre and the actors involved in each individual project. For Italy, Ostermeier has chosen the Piccolo Teatro, and Sonia Bergamasco for the central role of Katy, an actress who, together with the director Paul and the sound technician Toni, is working on the commentary for a documentary dedicated to Eribon.

Moving between personal confession and sociological analysis, the philosopher recounts his return to his town of birth, Reims, and his reunion with the family he had not seen or heard from for decades, ever since he began his university career in Paris. In this encounter with the past, Eribon confronts the darker aspects of contemporary society: the brutal mechanisms of exclusion from education and employment set in motion by the apparently progressive but fundamentally elitist upper classes - to which he now belongs, and a working class which - abandoned and deprived of its rights - rejects communist politics and embraces the right-wing popularism of the Front National.

“I was very interested in further examining how and why, in recent years - explains Ostermeier - an extreme right-wing movement has been able to develop so quickly in so many nations in both Europe and beyond. I am deeply shocked by the analysis presented by Eribon, who connects this alarming trend to the historical failure of the traditional left. I like the idea of creating different versions of the staging in different nations and languages, and with different actors, whose personal experiences influence and modify the production”.

Ritorno a Reims
based on the book by Didier Eribon
directed by Thomas Ostermeier
sets and costumes Nina Wetzel
music Nils Ostendorf
sound Jochen Jezussek
dramaturgy by Florian Borchmeyer
lighting Erich Schneider
film directed by Sébastien Dupouey & Thomas Ostermeier 
with Sonia Bergamasco (distribution to be defined) 
a Piccolo Teatro di Milano - Romaeuropa Foundation co-production
in collaboration with
Schaubühne, Berlin 

Romaeuropa Festival – November 2019