The Forgotten land
The Forgotten Land
Writing and directing Jean-Michel d’Hoop
Point Zéro Company & Théâtre de Poche (Brussels)
“Winner of the Media Prize for Best Show 2017-2018”
On April 26, 1986, occurred the biggest disaster in the History of Humanity.
The accident of Chernobyl emitted over one hundred times more radiation than the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
The explosion of the reactor produced a radioactive cloud and contaminated rains that primarily touched Belorussia and Ukraine, but also all of Europe. Heavy metals and radioactive elements are still present in the ground… and they always will be… Well, almost always… They will be there for millions of years… Much longer than our memories will live on.
In our collective imaginary all this happened in a faraway country… And yet… Chernobyl is only a three hour flight away from Brussels… 2000 kilometres… It’s like travelling to Lisbon.
The team of Point Zero went to Belorussia then to Ukraine to meet the inhabitants of the Chernobyl region in order to ask them questions about their past, their everyday life. This play could also have been called “the people of the aftermath”. It is inspired by the word of the witnesses more than that of the theoreticians or politicians. It is based on intimacy and impressions.
The Forgotten Land is a creation that was conceived as an invitation to enter the surroundings and the heart of the mysterious zone of exclusion strangely named “Natural Radiological Reserve”. A zone that largely consists of forests and within it: lynxes, wolves, bison, wild horses, a few old people who have returned to find their houses and then… Pripyat, the abandoned city. A ghost town where eagles nest at the top of old deserted soviet buildings. It can almost sound romantic…
This play is also the encounter with people who have no other choice than to eat the vegetables of their gardens. Cultivated in their soil. Their outraged soil. And that is a bit less romantic… Particularly as the health of the population remains worrying. Even the children who are born recently already have illnesses. The small doses of radioactivity and heavy metals cause cancer, cardiovascular accidents, heart attacks, sclerosis and today, very young people suffer from illnesses that usually concern the aged.
Beyond the social issues for the humanity and the planet, it appeared to us that this catastrophe conveyed many interesting aspects that could be questioned on a theatre stage: it ceaselessly questions reality; nothing is visible, palpable. The radiation is odourless and colourless… Yet it is there.
To get near this universe which sometimes flirts with the imaginary, we continue our research, mixing actors and human scale puppets.
And if the subject is serious, we still invite poetry on the stage thanks to Ségolène Denis’ puppets, to Yoann Stehr’s videos and to Pierre Jacqmin’s music. A play written between fiction and radioactivity.
With Léone François in alternance with Sophie Delacollette, Léa Le Fell in alternance with Anne Romain, Héloïse Meire, Benjamin Torrini in alternance with Leopold Terlinden, Corentin Skwara. Videos Yoann Stehr. Music Pierre Jacqmin. Stage Design Olivier Wiame. Puppets Ségolène Denis Assisted By Monelle Van Gyzegem. Lights Xavier Lauwers. Assistant Director François Regout. Writing And Directing Jean-Michel D’hoop. Technical Director Thomas Kazakos. Stage Manager Loïc Le Foll. Production Manager Nathalie Kamoun. Stage Photos Alice Piemme, Véronique Vercheval.
Théâtre de Poche : Matthieu Defour
0032 485 91 77 02
Point Zéro : Nathalie Kamoun
0032 495 18 89 25
Technical and logistics contact
Théâtre de Poche : Thomas Kazakos
0032 476 30 29 01
Point Zéro : Loïc Le Foll
0032 472 09 95 37
PRESS – Excerpts
The play that cries out on the subject of nuclear energy which the government should see! (…) The play is like being hit by a fist, by claws but also by human warmth. The show proves how much human word, focus, incarnation and attentions to living beings moves much more than a cold enumeration of facts.
La Libre Belgique ****
Strong and staggering images!
Thirty years after the Chernobyl catastrophe, the Point Zero Company went back to the site. In an intelligent and sensitive way, they ask, between video, actors in flesh and bone and puppets, the question of the aftermath.
“The Forgotten Land” has our eyes wide open.
Le Soir ***
The Company Point Zero at the summit of their art! (…) A distancing which, far from reducing the strength of the intention, gives it a fine depth, between poetry and fantasy. Impressive team work. A must see, especially for young people who will have crucial choices to make for the future of their planet.
RTBF – Culture
Captivating… not to be missed!
Remarkable! A considerable feat.
Demandez le programme
A superbly frightening play.
A very fine poetical work on memory and the future of a population forgotten by all.
Le Bruit du OFF
On tour 2019
- Friday 13th, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th September at 7.30 pm – Beijing Fringe Festival, National Theater, Beijing, China
- Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 September at 7.30 pm – Hangzhou Contemporary Festival, Hangzhou, China
- Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October at 7pm – SPAF, Seoul Performing Arts Festival, ARKO Arts Theater, Seoul, South Korea
- Thursday, November 14 at 2 pm and 8 pm – Espace culturel Le Point d’Eau, Ostwald, Alsace, France
- Sunday 17 November at 5pm – marionNEttes – festival international, Neuchâtel, Suisse
- Tuesday 19th November at 8.30pm – Théâtre du Bordeau, Saint-Genis-Pouilly, France
- From Tuesday, November 26 to Saturday, December 7 at 8:30 pm – relâche dimanches & lundis – Théâtre de Poche, Bruxelles
- Thursday 12th and Friday 13th December at 8pm – La Virgule, Centre Marius Staquet, Tourcoing, France
On tour 2020
- From Thursday, January 9 to Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 8 pm – release Saturday and Sunday – L’Eden, Charleroi. En coprésentation avec l’Ancre, Charleroi
- Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 January 2020 at 8 pm – Maison de la culture de Tournai
- Saturday 18 January at 8.30 pm- Théâtre de l’Hôtel de Ville, Saint-Barthélemy-d’Anjou, France
- Tuesday 21st January at 8.30 pm – Centre Culturel Jean L’Hôte, Neuves-Maison, France
- Friday, January 24, 2020 at 19:30 – Le Pôle, Revest-Les-Eaux , France
- Tuesday 28 January at 8.30 pm – Théâtres en Dracénie, Théâtre de l’Esplanade, Draguignan, France
- Thursday, January 30 at 8:30 pm – Théâtre Le Forum, Salle Gounod, Fréjus, France
- Friday, January 31 at 8:30 pm – Forum Jacques Prévert, Carros, France
- Thursday 6 February at 8.30 pm – Maison de la Culture Le Corbusier, Firminy, France
- Tuesday, February 11 at 8:30 pm – Scène conventionnée Arts de la Marionnette, Espace Jéliote, Oloron-Sainte-Marie, France
- Thursday, February 13 at 8:30 pm – ATP, Théâtre Atrium, Dax, France
- Friday, February 14 at 8:30 pm – Centre Simone Signoret à Canéjan – France
- From Tuesday March 3rd at 8:30 pm to Saturday March 7th at 8:30 pm – Réseau RIPLA du Grand T
- Tuesday, March 3: Cap Nort, Nort-sur-Erdre, France
- Thursday March 5th: Le Canal, Théâtre du Pays de Redon, France
- Saturday, March 7: Espace cœur en scène, Rouans, France
- Wednesday, March 11 at 8:30 pm – Centre Culturel de Braine le Comte, Belgique
- Thursday, March 12 at 8:30 pm – Théâtre du Chevalet, Noyon, France
- Friday, March 13 at 8:30 pm – Théâtre Victor Hugo, Bagneux, France
- Saturday, March 14 at 8:30 pm – Théâtre Jacques Carat, Cachan, France
- Wednesday 18 March at 8 pm – A.B.C, Théâtre des Feuillants, Dijon, France
- Friday March 20th at 9pm – Val d’Aoste, Italie
- Sunday, March 29 at 18h – L’Archipel, Scène Nationale de Perpignan, France
A Point Zero show, in co-production with the Théâtre de Poche and the Coop asbl.
With the support of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and Shelterprod, Taxshelter.be, ING and the Tax-Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government.