Brotherhood, A Fantastic tale – by Caroline Guiela Nguyen


« Ton cœur, je l’ai rapporté dans ton corps
Je l’ai mis pour toi à sa place. »

« Your heart, I brought it back into your body
I set it for you in its place. »

As the French poet François Villon once sang: « Human brothers, you who live after us… ». A pervasive sense of human brotherhood runs through Caroline Guiela Nguyen’s new project. In Saigon (presented at the Ateliers Berthier in 2018 and 2019), she retraced its past; she now explores its future. The plot stretches into the next century and plays out in several languages. An inexplicable catastrophe has wiped out part of humanity, forcing those who didn’t disappear to support each other and to confront the common mystery… « The time is out of joint ». Together – bearing witness in the name of the missing, consoling those who miss them, preparing the memory of a century that is yet to come – the remaining humans try to preserve a sense of history. What will their legacy look like? Bringing together (in her customary way) professionals and amateurs from different backgrounds, Caroline Guiela Nguyen began her investigation by collecting signs of the future that might already be deciphered in our time, as she strived to invent a theatrical « memory and mourning centre », an « empathetic place » where some « thinking for humans and by humans » could take place. An image has guided her as a compass throughout this new creative journey: the stars in our sky may already be extinct, but the constellations they form « remain as bright as ever for our human retinas ».

Premiere 6 July 2021 in Festival d’Avignon


Cast Dan Artus, Saadi Bahri, Boutaïna El Fekkak, Hoonaz Ghojallu, Maïmouna Keita, Nanii, Elios Noël, Jean-Claude Oudoul, Alix Petris, Saaphyra, Vasanth Selvam, Anh Tran Nghia, Hiep Tran Nghia, Mahia Zrouki

Text by Caroline Guiela Nguyen and the whole artistic team Artistic collaborator Claire Calvi, sets Alice Duchange, costumes Benjamin Moreau, lighting Jérémie Papin, sound Antoine Richard, video Jérémie Scheidler, dramaturgy Hugo Soubise, Manon Worms, music Teddy Gauliat-Pitois, Antoine Richard

Production Les Hommes Approximatifs, with Festival d’Avignon

Co-production Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, ExtraPôle Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, La Comédie – centre dramatique national de Reims, Théâtre national de Bretagne, Théâtre national de Strasbourg, Châteauvallon scène nationale, Théâtre de l’Union – centre dramatique national du Limousin, Théâtre Olympia – centre dramatique national de Tours, MC2: Grenoble, La Criée Théâtre national de Marseille, Le Grand T théâtre de Loire-Atlantique, Théâtre des Célestins, La Comédie de Colmar – centre dramatique national Grand Est Alsace, La rose des vents – scène nationale Lille Métropole Villeneuve d’Ascq, Le Parvis Tarbes Pyrénées, Théâtre national de Nice, Théâtre du Beauvaisis – scène nationale

International co-production Prospero – Extended Theatre (co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union), Théâtre national Wallonie-Bruxelles, Théâtre de Liège, Les théâtres de la ville de Luxembourg, Centro dramatico nacional – Madrid, Dramaten – Stockholm, Schaubühne – Berlin, Théâtre national Dona Maria II – Lisbonne, Thalia – Hambourg, Festival Romaeuropa

With the support of the DGCA (French Culture Ministry), the Jeune Theatre National and the Institut Français / Paris



Caroline Guiela Nguyen is a French author, playwright, film and theatre director. After completing her As a writer, director and filmmaker, Caroline Guiela Nguyen invites non-professional or professional actors from different social, geographical, cultural and spiritual backgrounds to take part in her creations, so that « worlds meet and we invent, together, a common ground. » After studying sociology, she enters the school of the National Theatre of Strasbourg. In 2009, she founds the company Les Hommes Approximatifs. Among her creations with the company: Se souvenir de Violetta (2011), Ses Mains, Le bal d’Emma (2012), Elle brûle (2013), Le Chagrin (2015), Mon grand amour (2016). The company’s latest creation, Saigon (2017), has toured in France and fourteen other countries, with great acclaim wherever it went: Shanghai, Berlin, Stockholm, Budapest… With Fraternité, contes fantastiques, Caroline Guiela Nguyen and her company have now entered a new cycle of creative research. The first tale is a film, which she shot with the inmates of the Central Prison of Arles, in the south of France (autumn 2019). The second and third tales are theatre projects, to be created in 2021 and 2022, in close collaboration with French, European and international partners. Caroline Guiela Nguyen has been an associate artist at the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe since 2016.