Roberto Zucco

Bernard-Marie Koltès

Director Richard Brunel has been dealt a pretty good hand to begin with and he knows how to play his cards well. Koltès’s text has certainly never been so deftly chanted, nor has it been made so sharp and expressive as it is in this gripping adaptation.

Emmanuelle Bouchez, Télérama

In this spectacular production, Richard Brunel pushes forward the lyrical aspects of the text, eschewing realism and plunging his actors in a nightmare-scape. Tragedy and comedy go hand in hand in the crowd scenes, with their barroom chat-type dialogues.

Philippe Chevilley, Les échos

This opera is punctuated with powerfully evocative tableaux – the love scene between Zucco and the Girl, springing out naked from underneath the dinner table, the boy’s death, under a snowfall of plastic bags. The show is not disembodied either, quite the opposite: Brunel takes care to flesh out the (in)humanity of his characters, each of them valiantly carrying out Koltès’s desperate words. (…)

Philippe Chevilley, Les échos

No deliberate pathos here, only human beings spinning out of control. The play, the final tale of a deadly world, displays a dark power that keeps us in its thrall until the very last line.

Philippe Chevilley, Les échos

Richard Brunel graces the Comédie de Valence with a stunning reading of the play, subtly combining violence and levity.

Antonio Mafra, Tout Lyon affiches

(…) But this admirably conceived staging, Richard Brunel’s work, is not a simple machine articulated around its star protagonist. Balanced, fluid and deeply dynamic, the director of the Comédie de Valence’s vision for Roberto Zucco favours the collective experience: each and every voice of the choir can be heard, express its individuality and make a contribution to the theatrical experiment unfolding before our eyes, somewhere between elegance and mystery, discipline and inspiration.

Manuel Piolat Soleymat, La Terrasse

Staged and directed by Richard Brunel, this Roberto Zucco, created by the Comédie de Valence and performed at the TGB Saint Denis, offers a unique kind of depth. (…) In the course of this frenetic pursuit, Koltès’s whole universe unfurls – through seedy decors turned theatrical wombs, all the ambivalence of human connections is revealed in a series of flashes.

Rosà Moussaoui, L’Humanité

Richard Brunel’s directing mirrors Koltès’s writing in its cinematic quality. Even outside its most visually stunning moments – such as the dinner party with the naked Girl or the murder of the boy, buried under a rainfall of plastic bags – each of the play’s ten tableaux prompts a transformation of the set, which acts as a gigantic Russian doll. A few panels are raised and lifted, the lighting changes subtly and, suddenly, Roberto Zucco’s crimes and wanderings appear in a very different light, one that is dependent on the various characters who, along with the murderer, sketch the harsh outlines of this shattered, perhaps dying society.

Anaïs Heluin, Les lettres françaises

Richard Brunel presents us with an accessible adaptation of Roberto Zucco, one that focuses on its actors and plays with an ever-present chiaroscuro, mirroring the inconsistencies of the protagonist’ heart and his thirst for freedom. An apt and highly contemporary reflection on crowd manipulation by the media, this play is a call to collective disobedience. The paradoxical music has been chosen with sensitivity and subtlety by Richard Brunel, who is decidedly at the top of his form here.

Thomas Ngohong, Hier au théâtre

The director has elected not to confine each scene to its dialogue – in every episode, the preceding and following instants also find their place on stage. Carefully sidestepping the pitfall that is the fragmented nature of the original text, Richard Brunel manages to create a coherent whole, where the dramatic stakes of the story are continuously exposed.

La Petite revue

Roberto Zucco
Bernard-Marie Koltès

Director Richard Brunel
Set designer Anouk Dell’Aiera
Lighting designer Laurent Castaingt
Costume designer Benjamin Moreau
Sound designer Michaël Selam
Dramaturg Catherine Ailloud-Nicolas
Assistant director Louise Vignaud

Produced by La Comédie de Valence, Drôme-Ardèche dramatic arts centre With the support of the École de la Comédie de Saint-Étienne / DIESE # Rhône-Alpes

La Comédie de Valence, Domaine d’O, Montpellier, Le Théâtre de Lorient, Théâtre National de Toulouse, Théâtre Gérard Philipe, Saint Denis, Théâtre de Caen, national dramatic arts centre of Orléans/Loiret/Centre, La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand


Axel Bogousslavsky,
Noémie Develay-Ressiguier,
Evelyne Didi,
Valérie Larroque,
Pio Marmaï,
Babacar M’Baye Fall,
Laurent Meininger,
Luce Mouchel,
Tibor Ockenfels,
Lamya Regragui,
Christian Scelles,
Samira Sedira,
Thibault Vinçon
and Nicolas Hénault