Aurélien Bory : Heaven is far away; the Earth, too was the first show I saw when I arrived in Toulouse.
Mladen Materic : In 1994, Heaven is far away; the Earth, too was the Théâtre Tattoo’s second production following its move to the Théâtre Garonne.
A.B : I realised on that very evening that theatre didn’t really exist, that it wasn’t a given form, and that it was possible – or even necessary – to reinvent it.
M.M : Around that time, we had this saying: “theatre doesn’t exist when I’m sleeping”. But that didn’t really simplify anything. “Starting from oneself” is about the hope that if a question concerns you, then it might also concern others. But you can never really be sure. Even less so when you have just left the reality of your former homeland and you have not had enough time to recognise either the iconography or the spirit of your new surroundings. I still remember that two nights before the premier of Heaven is far away; the Earth, too I believed, more than I usually did, that it would be a downright catastrophe.
A.B : 25 years have gone by. I know that this show left its mark – a path I wanted to follow by creating my own theatre – but it also left a mark in my memory that I would like to find here, today, once again.
M.M : For me, Heaven was a form of questioning on stage, rather disagreeable but probably very normal when we are in the middle of life (between birth and death, youth and old age, strength and fatigue), of the sensation between what we hoped for in life and what we got, and which has now started to seem definitive…
A.B : I don’t really remember Heaven is far away; the Earth, too anymore. Even less so since the scraps that have been left are subject to the unforgiving chemical processes of memory: superposition, substitution, breaking down into pieces, shifts, confusion, blur, deletion…
M.M : One day, I told Aurélien I still had the scenery, the costumes and the accessories.
A.B : I asked Mladen Materic to give me the scenery so I could investigate those wood panels, the doors, the windows, and the furniture, which had spent years in some shadowy corner of a warehouse, and to try to bring back a few memories.
M.M : I immediately agreed that Aurélien should work with the scenery from Heaven is far away; the Earth, too. Creating a show based on another show was something that seemed exciting.
A.B : Theatre has its limitations. The most important of these is space, and we have to tackle this with each new production. It represents a sort of palimpsest, as if on the stage, we had to write over the traces of the shows that had preceded us.
M.M : A show, when it is not being performed, is nothing more a jumble of scenery, costumes and accessories, boxed up, inanimate, like dead bodies. A show, when it is not being performed, is nothing more than a group of actors and technicians scattered around, living their own lives, working their own jobs. Putting on a show again means recreating the relationships between all of these elements. That’s what’s horrible and beautiful in theatre: a show is the fundamentally immaterial relationship between fundamentally material things.
A.B : I would like to literally write over the traces of Heaven is far away; the Earth, too, by only concerning myself with the physical trace that the scenery represents.
M.M : Between the bits of scenery, these accessories, these costumes, these sounds, these lights we can recreate the same relationships all while creating new ones.
A.B : And find once more through absence, or by the gap left between the walls, the story of this family, a man, a woman, their children, their parents, and finally realising that this story is also a little bit my own.
M.M : It fits with my memories of the show and of the time, but also with my new situation.
A.B : Since I am now in the middle,
M.M : Since I am now 25 years further on,
And we have decided to do it together.
Aurélien Bory – Mladen Materic
I would like to literally write over the traces of Heaven is far away; the Earth, too, by only concerning myself with the physical trace that the scenery represents.
With Aurélien Bory, Haris (Haka) Resic, Jelena Covic, Mickael Godbille
Design, scenography, direction Aurélien Bory, Mladen Materic
Music Joan Cambon
Light design Arno Veyrat
Conception technique décor Pierre Dequivre
Set Technical Conception Pierre Pailles, Jérémy Sanfourche, Olivier Jeannoutot
Painting Isadora De Ratuld
Accessoires Stéphane Chipeaux-Dardé
Costumes Manuela Agnesini
Stage manager Thomas Dupeyron
Sound manager Stéphane Ley
Stage management Mickaël Godbille, Yarol Stuber-Ponsot
Head of Production Florence Meurisse
Production manager Clément Séguier-Faucher
Logistic Manager Justine Cailliau Konkoj
Press Agence Plan Bey
Production Compagnie 111 – Aurélien Bory
Coproduction Théâtre Garonne Scène européenne – Toulouse, ThéâtredelaCité – CDN Toulouse Occitanie, Théâtre-Sénart Scène nationale, La comédie de l’Est – CDN Colmar, CIRCa – Pôle national cirque Auch Gers Occitanie dans le cadre du soutien du FONDOC, Théâtre Tattoo
Rehearsals and residencies Théâtre Garonne Scène européenne – Toulouse, La nouvelle Digue – Toulouse
Compagnie 111 – Aurélien Bory is under funding agreement with the Regional Directorate for Cultural Affairs Occitanie / French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Region Occitanie / Pyrénées – Méditerranée and the City council of Toulouse. It is supported by the Departmental Council of the Haute-Garonne.