Milo Rau is considered to be the most controversial theatre director today. He returns to our stage with a play that furthers the research around voyeurism and its political and artistic implications.
In 2017, we presented “Five Easy Pieces” at Teatro Campo Alegre. It featured a cast of children portraying the crimes committed by paedophile Marc Dutroux in the 1990s. Through a collaborative effort with Theater HORA, an acclaimed company whose actors are all trisomy 21 carriers, Milo Rau’s latest production throws before our eyes a kind of theatre that forces us to think about key issues: what is the meaning of power? What is voyeurism? How to safeguard the dignity of life? How to define normal and abnormal? Where does pain end and salvation start? “The 120 Days of Sodom” gets its title from Pasolini’s last film, which in turn draws inspiration from the novel by Marquis de Sade, summoning its aesthetics to theatre. From the late 18th century literature to the disturbing images that marked film history in the 1970s—a series of sadist rituals practiced on a group of youngsters when the totalitarian regime was declining—Milo Rau updates the power, sex and violence relations that shape the times, and exhibits them in flesh and blood. The director, who’s also a sociologist, thereby extends the research on a certain kind of rule that replaced the fascist system, but maintains its mechanisms of repression by standardising excess, constantly optimising man, nurturing the perverse craving for scandal and establishing a society halfway between hedonism and disgrace. Even if Milo Rau’s performances are immediately preceded by a cloud of controversy, which media coverage magnifies, they may actually be inadvisable for sensitive audiences inasmuch as they experiment with what’s representable and bearable. But most importantly they teach us that his work has more tenderness than shame.
was born in 1977, in Switzerland. He’s a theatre and film director, journalist and essayist. He studied sociology, and German and Roman studies in Paris, Zurich and Berlin. In 2007, he founded the company International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM), where he has carried out his work ever since. His productions and films (“Five Easy Pieces”, “Montana”, “The Last Days of the Ceausescus”, “Hate Radio”, “City of Change”, “The Moscow Trials”, “The Zurich Trials”, “The Civil Wars”, “The Dark Ages”, “The Congo Tribunal” and many others) have been invited to take part in the world’s largest festivals, such as Festival d’Avignon, Theatertreffen (Berlin) and Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), among others.
Performance support "Os 120 dias de Sodoma" by Milo Rau