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Here Be Lions

Here Be Lions

(Hic Sunt Leones)

Stéphane Olry, Translated by Neil Bartlett

Oberon Books

For two years Stéphane Olry sporadically shared the daily life of the patients and caregivers at the hospital for multi-handicapped children in La Roche-Guyon. Children aided by complicated apparatuses, children without access to language whose inner life remains unknown for us. How can this troubling and nevertheless joyous journey at their side be related?

Stéphane Olry plunges us into a thick fog. Deprived of vision, the spectators are surrounded by voices, intonations that are sometimes documentary, sometimes mysterious and shapeless. They weave a landscape in which the concrete environment of the work and relationships at the hospital is turned upside-down by the sensitive experiences of the dancers and “child-bodies”. Probing a world deemed inaccessible, to attempt to fill a blank space. Like the Latin cartographers who wrote in the spaces of the yet unexplored deserts: hic sunt leones, here are the lions.

Stéphane Olry is a French writer, director and theatre-maker. His play Hic Sunt Leones is brought to the UK by Theatre of Europe, a new company dedicated to bringing together Europe’s most innovating theatre directors with the best of British theatre talent. 

Neil Bartlett is one of his generation's most respected and innovative theatre directors. His highly individual translations of French and German classical theatre, and charcteristically theatrical adaptations of Dickens, most of them originated while he was Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith in London, have been played around the world. His plays have premiered at the Royal Court, at the Manchester International Festival and at the National Theatre in London. 

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