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The Manx Cat Project | Episodes 1·2·3


Couverture du Manx Cat Project

Monday 19 Sept | 7pm | FR
Saturday 24 Sept | 3pm | FR

Duration: 2h15

Place: Riches-Claires

The Manx Cat Project is developed at Écarlate la Cie. This is the 5th act of the multi-faceted project “La Deuxième Scène”. It was conceived to create access to a repertoire that promotes the notion of Matrimoine (women’s heritage) and to fight against inequality in the field of performing arts.

5 young stage directors and 3 writers were commissioned with a simple yet complicated dramaturgic intention: shed light on women and works from the national archive that have been removed from history or downplayed. This would be done through the production of a original 4h stage performance consisting in 5 theatrical acts of 45 mins each. The young creators are assisted by a support committee which is made up of various experts on the dark sides of history, decolonisation, anti-sexism, etc.

A century of Belgian feminism – this unknown history that weaves together these 5 acts. How remember the names of Adèle Hauwel or Suzan Daniel ? Yet, these figures, with their courage, humour, genius and occasionally bad tempers, have radically transformed the society in which we live. Without them, we would live in a world without contraception and legal abortion. A world without LGBTQI rights, without recourse against wage inequality, and one that we struggle to imagine, so much so that the results of their hard work with its multiple forms of individual, amorous and collective fulfilment seems to be taken completely for granted.

Episode 1 : Et ta soeur?
From the works of Marie Denis: DIS MARIE c’était comment rue du Méridien 79
Adaptation and direction Lou Joubert-Bouhnik | Cast: Rokia Bamba, Duy Nhân N’Guyen, Yasmine Yahiatene

Episode 2 : Détonantes
Around the archives relating to Femmes Machines de la FN Herstal and Eliane Vogel Polsky
Writer Marie Vaiana | Director Solène Valentin | Cast: Lara Van Drooghenbroek, Léa Quinsac, Souâd Toughraï

Episode 3 : Une femme remarquable
From the archives on Adèle Hauwel
Writer Capucine Berthon | Director Laure Lapel | Cast: Yasmina Al-Assi Marie Coyard, Julie Jaroszewski

Episode 1 : Et ta soeur?
This act bases itself on the book of Marie Denis “DIS MARIE c’était comment rue du Méridien 79” (1980). In 1972, during the second wave of feminism, women would meet up to create a space, a concrete utopia open to “sisters” in the struggle against sexism and for the rights to contraception and abortion. There were a multitude of obstacles to overcome in their lives such as the reconciliation of their commitments to their role in family life, motherhood, discussion around the homogeneity of the space, and reduction of the impact of social inequalities in society. This Women’s Centre, so as not to become an enclave, had to succeed in articulating the lines between the internal (a space and refuge, conceived for women by women) and the external world. This balance needed to be struck to regain the power to act in the city, to be able to evolve in safety, to develop in numbers, to engage in new encounters (neighbours, strangers, other associations), and to protest. This “mini-society” was united with and built upon strong foundations but was also plagued by controversies which reflected all facets of the women’s cause: intimacy, sexuality, the fight against sexual and general violence, social, racial and gender discrimination. We speak here about a “new world” in which everything has been transformed, including our daily practices. The revolution is coming, and it involves a party. The party, as both a political and demonstrative manifestation of the women’s movement forms an essential element of the staging in this show. It allows us to project ourselves into “another world” where we protest to free ourselves from the various forms of sexist oppression, for a common space, a common force, and to create and develop our own sense of imagination.
Episode 2 : Détonantes
In 1966, a strike broke out among the female workers of the National Arms Factory in Herstal, these "machine women" who worked in appalling conditions for a lower salary than the men. Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome (1957), "Equal pay for equal work", is claimed loud and clear. The lawyer Éliane Vogel-Polsky was present during this strike and came out of it convinced that the law can be used to serve the fight for equal pay.
Episode 3 : Une femme remarquable
Adèle Hauwel (1920-2004) is a feminist woman who, though her life spanned almost a century, carried the fear of ‘leaving this world with little baggage’ (taken from a letter to her friend Aimée). She bequeaths a lifetime of feminism unto the Women’s History Archive. Her story ranging from institutional struggles against wage inequality in the 1930s to revolutionary acts of sabotage in the 1970s. She encountered two major peaks and two major troughs in her relentless dedication to the cause. She sacrificed her entire private life to it and chose a life of asceticism that was worthy of the admiration of those close to her; a source of both satisfaction as well as suffering and contempt for her. How can the desire to fight and preserve the trace of historical struggles be nourished when the collective conscience is not one of your allies? How can the search for purity, radicalism and irreproachability unite or hinder us depending on the context and social climate?
DIRECTORS Laure Lapel, Solène Valentin, Marie Diaby, Lou Joubert, Leila Devin | AUTHORS Marthe Degaille, Marie Vaiana, Capucine Berthon | CAST Marie Coyard, Julie Jaroszewski, Souâd Toughraï, Léa Quinsac, Lara Van Drooghenbroek, Lauryn Turquin, Rebecca Fels, Maya Lombard, Rokia Bamba, Duy Nhân N’Guyen, Yasmine Yahiatene, Estelle Strypstein, Marie Diaby, Tamara Kalvanda, Yasmina Al-Assi | ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Judith Ribardière | STAGE DESIGN La Collective Crabe - Camille Rolovic, Clémence Jussaume, Hélène Beutin, Marie Menzaghi, Nathalie Moisan | LIGHTING AND SOUND Ines Isimbi, Lou Van Egmond, Françoise Pierre | COSTUMES Solène Valentin, Milena Forest | DRAMATURGICAL SUPPORT COMMITTEE Jeannine Dath, Marie-Cécile Henrion, Anne Thuot, Penda Diouf, Clotilde Moynot, Camille Khoury, Miriam Youssef
ARTISTIC DIRECTION AND PRODUCTION Écarlate la Cie - Elsa Poisot et Sonia Boutitie | COPRODUCTION Mars - Mons arts de la scène, La Maison poème | Midis de la poésie – FrancoFaune, FAME, Arts et Publics, le Centre des Arts Scéniques, la SACD, le CED-WB, la Coop et Shelter Prod | WITH HELP FROM Ministère de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles aux services Culture, Égalité des chances et Éducation Permanente, la Cocof aux services Culture et Egalité des chances et lutte contre les discriminations, de la Région Bruxelles Capitale (Equal), de la Loterie Nationale | WITH THE SUPPORT OF la Chaufferie - Acte 1, de la Bellone, de Passa Porta, du Festival Voix de Femmes, du Carhif, de Mundaneum, des Archives et Musées de la Littérature, de la Balsamine, du CC Uccle, de Garage 29, du BAMP, du Théâtre Océan Nord de la Fabrique de Théâtre, de la Ville de Bruxelles au service Culture, de, ING et du tax-shelter du gouvernement fédéral belge.
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