"Le ventre de la baleine" by Agnès Pichois

Aphrodite, alone on the stage, recites all that remains for her to do before her husband returns. Between examinations of her reflection in the mirror, she lists her chores, her complaints, and her fears... Thursday 22 November 2018, at 8.30 pm, Théâtre Princesse Grace

Boxing gloves and punching-ball, Aphrodite battles the memories that haunt her.  Agnès Pichois, all alone on the small stage, paces the length of her room and her mind, reliving each chapter in the story of her life as a woman, a lover, and a wife.
By concentric circles, the tale grows, zig-zagging between past and present as a capricious memory in pain struggles to sort its feelings.
The young woman gradually reveals the shape of the black hole that swallowed her existence. Jonas fell into the bottle, the belly of the whale. The goddess of love is a woman beaten by her lover, having become his scapegoat. His litany of loving murmurs has morphed into a string of drink-fuelled insults.
A housewife obsessed with chores, in the service of a violent husband, with an aching fear of getting it wrong, she relives the moments of her ordeal one by one.  She sees herself at the police station, attempting in vain to file a complaint.
Between everyday scenes and mythological allusions, the script by Belgian dramatist Stanislas Cotton unravels like a bittersweet song with an energetic language. A vibrant performance from Agnès Pichois skilfully avoids the pitfalls of depicting a social theme, namely domestic violence. Sophie Thebault's painstaking, detached mise en scène keeps the audience entranced for an hour, with a play that discusses a serious social issue without pathos.

  •  Find out more