Philippe Quesne Paris

La nuit des taupes (Welcome to Caveland!)

Philippe Quesne is an idiosyncratic theatre maker with a visual arts background, who has participated in the running of the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers since 2014. In 2016, Quesne tours all over Europe with a new and ambitious theatre project. La nuit des taupes plunges the audience into a world of allegorical giant moles and other fantastical creatures who have sought refuge there. An arts centre threatened with closure goes underground, into a space that is a cross between a prehistoric settlement, a fallout shelter, and Plato’s cave. In the cave, an ‘ecosophical’ theatre is inscribed, where the human perspective is balanced against that of the animal. With La nuit des taupes, Philippe Quesne links into the genre of social science-fiction. He makes of the theatre a utopian refuge and takes the audience on a journey to the centre of the earth, where dreams can stimulate the consciousness. How does our own world look from the cave?

La nuit des taupes is part of Welcome to Caveland!, a two-part project in two stages. Firstly there is poetic fiction, with the performance La nuit des taupes. In a second phase, the cave becomes a stray installation. Like a travelling circus or a fairground attraction, Welcome to Caveland! treks from town to town seeking refuge in theatres and at festivals, finding room there for performances, workshops, and other activities. The cave is an ideas laboratory, a safe and private microcosm, an open space for furrowing, excavating, and digging; a utopian place where dreams can come to life and the world can be viewed with fresh eyes. 

NXTSTP partners: Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), steirischer herbst (Graz), Théâtre national de Bordeaux en Aquitaine (Bordeaux), Alkantara Festival (Lisbon), Baltoscandal Festival (Rakvere)