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Funeral Blues

Music Theatre in English, with French surtitles Meet the artistic team after the second performance.

W.H. Auden, one of the most important poets of the twentieth century, and the composer Benjamin Britten collaborated intensely between 1932 and 1936. Even when their paths diverged, the collaborations continued. In Funeral Blues , director Olivier Fredj rediscovers the poetry of W. H. Auden, making the music of Britten an intrinsic element of the performance, while embracing the task of approaching the poetry from a theatrical perspective. "The joy of living and loving in a world in distress" is Auden's paradox, imbued with the humour and derision necessary to give his clinical approach to life just the right amount of tenderness. Fredj stages and embodies Auden's poetry; there is also a sense of something unsaid. The audience is given a chance to discover the inner workings of the author's mind by hearing his words as they are made emotional by the playfulness of cabaret songs.

Funeral blues, the missing cabaret is in many ways the jazz show Benjamin Britten and W. H. Auden would have written if their relationship had been turned into a performance using their own words and music. Olivier Fredj gives life to an imaginary duet, inspired by their extremely complicated relationship, a mixture of physical attraction and artistic excitement. With Laurent Naouri (baritone), Richard Clothier (actor) and the unbelievable Gypsy Rose Lee - Cathy Krier (pianist), Funeral Blues weaves its dramaturgy through Auden's most beautiful poems and reminds us of Britten's jazzy Side. The evening will be in English, with French surtitles.

Text W. H. Auden
Music & Songs Benjamin Britten
Based on an original idea by Olivier Fredj
Stage director Olivier Fredj
Set Design Philippine Ordinaire
Costume Design Frédéric Llinarès
Lighting Design Nathalie Perrier
Assistant to the director Renelde Pierlot With  
Actor  Richard Clothier 
Baritone  Laurent Naouri 
Pianist  Cathy Krier International Touring langlois4music - Laurent Langlois
Technical Tour Manager Romain Stammet
Assistant to the Director on Tour Violaine Brébion
Administrative Producer Sarah Bettendorff
Set construction Workshops of the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg
Patina Alessandro Lanzillotti Coordination make-up, wardrobe & props Michelle Bevilacqua & Anatoli Papadopoulou
Make-up Claudine Moureaud
Wardrobe & props Anna Bonelli
Surtitles Translation & preparation of texts Richard Neel
Surtitles operators Lionel Rousselot & Philip Richardson Production Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg
Co-commissioned by Théâtre de Caen, C.I.C.T. - Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord
Co-produced by Théâtre de Caen World Premiere at the Grand Théâtre Thursday 18th January 2018 at 8pm
Special Thanks to Katerina Damvoglu and Robin Beer for the research workshop on the staging
Jeudi 18  JANVIER 2018 à 20h00 (tickets)
Dimanche 21  JANVIER 2018 à 17h00 (tickets)
Mercredi 24  JANVIER 2018 à 20h00 (tickets)
DURÉE environ 1h25 (pas d'entracte) Introduction à la pièce par Monsieur Olivier Fredj une demi-heure avant chaque représentation (en français)
Adultes 20 / Jeunes 8 / Kulturpass bienvenu
Lieu: Grand Théâtre / Studio Production en tournée
22-27 avril 2019 au Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord
13-15 mai 2019 au Théâtre de Caen


We 24 January 2018 20:00 Horaire


Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg
1 Rond-point Schuman



(c) Christophe Olinger