Aristophane: Les Oiseaux, Théâtre national de Toulouse (detail) View full image

Aristophanes' Birds take flight at Théâtre national de Toulouse

For their last major production as co-directors of the Théâtre national de Toulouse, Agathe Mélinand and Laurent Pelly reach for the sky with Aristophanes' "Les Oiseaux", a text written 2,400 years ago which joyfully explodes the codes of ancient comedy and is completely relevant to today’s world.

The piece tells the story of two humans, who, tired of the corruption of justice, politics and social values present in ancient Athens, seek the help of Huppe, a human transformed into a bird by the gods, and found an ideal city built entirely by birds and situated between the world of the gods and humans. In a new, lively translation by Agathe Mélinand  (published by Éditions Les Solitaires Intempestifs), the text "respects its historical value" and "regains the strength of the poetry" while skilfully adapting the narrative. This enables Laurent Pelly’s imaginative direction and design of both set and costumes to bring this rarely-staged work alive as a vivid celebration of nature – a mix of philosophical fable, anti-religious and anti-system satire, sparks of musical comedy and lyrical poetry, as well as the more classical elements.  

Performances continue to 13th May. Click here for more information.