Theatre : “Stadium”, the passion of blood and gold

The creation of Mohamed El Khatib, football player (amateur) who did a thesis in sociology, is a mammoth task over the crowd.
© Olivier Ubertalli


First half-time. Kick-off of the match. A trumpet player stands alone on stage. Above him, a screen, as in a football stadium. As soon as the musician delivers a few notes of ” Olé ! “in reality, the introduction of the pasodoble En er mundo, the public responds to him. Fifth minute of the game, the one where it shows the stars of the evening : the fans of Racing Club Lens. Ah, the fans of the legendary football club located in the mining basin, a worker… It is said of them that they are the best public of France, the most pleasant, the most passionate. They support their team in good times and bad passes. Especially the bad, because today the club is located in the depths of the standings from the Ligue 2, the second division of football in France.

What ? You’re in the habit of going to the theater but don’t know anything about football ? Don’t worry. Think of a symbolic year, a single, who you are, evokes the world of football… Go ! Index : Zinedine Zidane, Fabien Barthez… 1998 ! Won. The Blues are crowned champions of the world ? But no, let’s see, 1998, this is the year when the RC Lens is champion of France for the first (and, to date, last) time in its history ! Striker Tony Vairelles and his mop of blond media, Frédéric Déhu, and Marc-Vivien Foé… All the supporters of the club will remember them. You, too, now.

“Theatre-reality ”

In the Stadium, it vibrates with pom-pom girls that claim to feminine and feminist. © Olivier Ubertalli

Stadium*, the piece is performative-created by Mohamed El Khatib including 53 supporters of the club de Lens, this is it. A crowd of memories, of good times and laughter. Archive, testimonies, stories… The approach of the stage director wants to be a documentary. You’ll meet real characters, such as they are. There is Yvette, france, 85 years, dean, who throne, is seated in the middle of his large family, or even Ludovic, a “capo” (head in Italian) of KSO (Kop blood and gold). Some lovers of the roles of composition as embodied by professional actors complain of this ” theatre-reality “. There are, however, characters created or testimonials romancés, as this dream and dance well theatrical a referee who initiates all the time his red cards.

Half-time, the friterie Momo is open. Beer 4 euros… but the Evian at € 7 ! During the second half-time, it vibrates with pom-pom girls that claim to feminine and feminist, and a blues of the circle of mascots desperate. We shed even a tear on the Cum Dederit Vivaldi and in front of the supporter who waved a flag hand-sewn by his late mother.

Nice work on the crowd

The creation of Mohamed El Khatib, soccer player amateur** * * who has done a doctoral thesis in sociology, is a mammoth task on the crowd, the multitude, that sometimes reminds one of the playwright argentine Federico León in The Multitudes. For that alone, it is worth the trip. It is wrong to laugh when the supporters brandish a series of messages written on the banners that are unlikely, as this club “Elements of language” which starts : “Should not be confused Sophocles and So foot. “But the director sometimes searching too the effect or the little joke. The show may seem at times wobbly, as it aggregates materials and tables for the various performance, dance, music, mise en abyme, videos the sound leaves something to be desired). Beyond these few through (just two-three yellow cards, one might be tempted to say), Stadium experience made us a beautiful match for the dramatic. And the suspense until the game stops !

*Stadium, the theatre of the Hill, until Saturday 7th of October 2017. The piece then goes on tour in the paris region with the fall Festival from 12 to 17 October in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Chelles, Tremblay, Doves, Beauvais. We will be at the festival stage in Rennes on November 24 and 25, Valves 26 November, then in February 2018 to Joué-lès-Tours, the 1, Towers the 2, Orleans 3, Châteauvallon on march 16 and 17, Grand T, Nantes from 10 to 14 April, and at the cultural center of Alfortville on the 26th of may.

** The director has failed to enter the training centre of PSG’s pre-injury.

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