La Nuit des Taupes
Philippe Quesne - Nanterre Amandiers

Seven moles digging their burrows have landed on the stage of a theatre. Seven moles living together, a utopia for a supposedly solitary animal. 


The audience can see these subterranean creatures living, eating, sleeping, dying, working, giving birth, copulating, having fun and forming a rock band... La Nuit des Taupes, by French avant-garde creator Philippe Quesne, immerses the public in a parallel world in which there are neither words nor humans, conquered by the claws and snouts of seven moles in an electric universe that vibrates with the underground music that is heard in garages and basements. As heirs to Sisyphus, the moles roll their stones uphill, offering their vision of the history of humanity. Playful, greedy and sometimes aggressive, they explore the deepest raisons d`être of their existence and discover their interest in art and ritual. In this forceful and explosive show, its creator avoids telling stories and focuses on the essence of his work: exploring the materials and the power of music, the construction of spaces and the creation of the light that bathes his characters.

Phillipe Quesne has designed sets for the theatre, opera and exhibitions. In 2003, he founded Vivarium Studio Company with which he has developed his own particular style and, since 2014, he is co-director of the Nanterre-Amandiers National Dramatic Centre in France. Quesne seeks the marvellous, the small and the extreme experiences of our daily life, together with the relationship between humanity and nature. He already did so when he was a child when he would collect insects, and now he works with small communities, studying them under his microscope and using the stage scenery as an ecosystem in which he immerses his actors. In addition to his more scenic work, such as the piece he will be presenting in Naves Matadero, he creates performance art pieces and interventions in public spaces that converse with the theatrical piece. In Madrid, he will perform other actions based on La Nuit des Taupes as part of the programme of the Veranos de la Villa Festival.


Conception, staging and scenography: Philippe Quesne
With: Yvan Clédat, Jean-Charles Dumay, Léo Gobin, Erwan Ha Kyoon Larcher, Sébastien Jacobs, Thomas Suire & Gaëtan Vourc’h
Costumes: Corine Petitpierre assisted by Anne Tesson
Collaboration dramaturgy: Léo Gobin, Lancelot Hamelin, Ismaël Jude, Smaranda Olcèse
Sound: Samuel Gutman
Lighting: Thomas Laigle
Scenography assistance: Élodie Dauguet
Stage: Ateliers Nanterre-Amandiers
Production: Nanterre-Amandiers, centre dramatique national
With the support of: Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of the programme “New Settings“
Coproduction: Steirischer herbst – Graz, Kunstenfestivaldesarts – Bruxelles, Théâtre Vidy – Lausanne , La Filature – scène nationale, Mulhouse, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Théâtre national de Bordeaux Aquitaine, Kaaïtheater – Bruxelles, Centre d’art Le Parvis à Tarbes, NXTSTP with the support of Programa de Cultura de la Unión Europea


18, 19 and 20 July


85 minutes
Nave 11. Sala Fernando Arrabal

15 euros