The Compagnie Libre d’Esprit aims to produce popular theatre. It has a true troupe spirit, i.e. collective research work over the long term, based on the qualities of each of its members. It gives priority to an attentive reading of the text and to the actors’ performance.

We work standing up and with music, without preconceptions or preliminary analyses. Each quest to find one’s character takes place on a bare stage, with total physical involvement. We walk, we run, we dance, we jump, we push each other, in short, we play like children. Little by little, bits of text appear, take possession of the entire warmed-up body. This is how the actors let themselves be guided, never giving more importance to the text than to the body. It is from this osmosis that creativity is born.

The company has a strong history with the Balkans, as its artistic director and director, Nikson Pitaqaj, is from Kosovo. The company focuses particularly on works from Eastern European countries and likes to deepen its encounters with the authors it performs. The repertoire includes a Václav Havel Cycle, a Raki tetralogy (composed of works by Nino Noskin, a contemporary Kosovar author), several plays by Chekhov…

Each new play is destined to be performed in different venues that have an enduring relationship with the company (Théâtre de l’Épée de Bois-Cartoucherie de Vincennes, Théâtre du Grenier de Bougival, Centre Culturel Tchèque de Paris), on different occasions (Avignon Festival, Mois Molière…) for all audiences.

The company is committed to ensuring that theater is accessible everywhere. With a hundred performances a year, it regularly performs outside city walls, off the beaten track. A real desire to establish itself locally over the long term also leads it to regularly conduct open invitations in different places, where it offers a variety of cultural activities: readings, rehearsal sessions open to the public, film screenings, workshops, talks with specific audiences: schools, non-profit organisations… It has recently toured in Kosovo (see our blog report).

New plays

Mettez les voiles!

Mettez les voiles !  (which can be translated as both ‘Set sail!’ and ‘Put on the veils!’) is a theatrical fable about confinement and the lack of freedom.
The play explores the traumas of a universal and personal war, of freedom suffocating under the weight of oppressive traditions, of sclerotic families, of the fundamentalisms of the three monotheistic religions. The motto « Freedom Equality Fraternity » can oppose any form of extremism that becomes an omnipresent issue within Western society, within it and in its relation to immigration…

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Like the performance, which begins with a football match, everything is a game — but a very dangerous one…

Nino Noskin reverses roles: the family, social and religious authorities are represented by women and not by men. This shift makes it possible to revisit familiar situations and to bring — through the influence of the absurd — a new perspective on these fundamental issues.

Rather than producing judgmental, moralistic speeches, the staging is raw and visual, giving audiences a glimpse of the work of the unconscious. Bodies dance, the tone is light, and the cruelty in the scenes in which ideological confrontations and the quest for freedom take place are all the more poignant.  (6 to 7 actors)

For more information: see presentation in French.


A gypsy family trapped in a modern-day camp.

In this NATO-run refugee camp, a family is interrogated by a Colonel and his assistant who want information from Bal, a gravedigger who was forced to witness the clashes between the reds and the greys. Bal, like his wife and mother, says he saw nothing during the war. What can he reveal?

A grating dramatic comedy at the heart of a story without effects, where we do not affirm, where we do not judge, Gitans (which can be translated as ‘gypsies’) plunges us into the heart of problems of present-day refugees. (6 actors)

For more information: see presentation in French.

La leçon

An eminent teacher, animated by a lewd passion, transforms his pupil into a rag doll through a series of doubtful lessons in arithmetic and linguistics. He plays with her in a relationship in which he exerts total psychological and physical domination.

As masterpiece of the theatre of the absurd, Ionesco was delighted that the audience found it frankly delightful.

For more information: see presentation in French. (3 to 4 actors)