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Confidences (Adapted from Clever Little Lies)



A mother always knows when something is wrong.

When Florence hears that her husband Georges has beaten their son at tennis, she immediately conducts an investigation. She invites her son and daughter-in-law over for the evening to try to piece together the puzzle. The soirée descends into hilarious chaos, as Florence’s search for the truth results in jaw-dropping revelations from all of them.

Acute and funny, CONFIDENCES is a play about long-term love and marriage, for better, for worse.

CONFIDENCES (original title COMEDY OF LIES), a comedy of sex, love and secrets, was a triumph on Broadway.


This is the eternal comedy of truth. In a family, the same as in a couple, everyone wears a mask but wants to know the truth; but as soon as they know the truth, they can’t cope with it! What should we do with the truth? Is happiness possible in a world of total transparency? Aren’t clever little lies what we need to maintain daily happiness? Joe Di Pietro’s play enjoyed enormous and long-running success on Broadway, and it caused a sensation in the US, where sincerity is worshiped and fabrication castigated, according to a Puritanical tradition. Likeable characters (a subtle, loquacious mother, a naïve, honest father, a virile, bumbling son and a daughter-in-law so absorbed by her baby she forgets she’s a woman) demonstrate the compromises of the heart and of reality. Although love and wisdom (or the wisdom of love) ultimately win the day, side-splitting scenes where bad faith goes head to head with excess are wonderfully entertaining. Confidences is a transgenerational comedy full of brilliance and noise about the importance of silence.

Eric-Emmanuel SCHMITT

A comedy by Joe DI PIETRO
Adapted by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt
Directed by Jean-Luc MOREAU
Starring Marie Christine BARRAULT, Alain DOUTEY, Arthur FENWICK and Claudia DIMIER

FROM 1 SEPTEMBER 2017, Tuesday to Saturday at 9pm, Sunday matinée at 3pm


Joe Di Pietro was born in 1961 in New Jersey, USA. A writer, playwright, composer and songwriter, he began his career in the 1990s. He had his first success with the musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, which he wrote with the composer Jimmy Roberts and which ran for 12 years, enjoying over 5,000 performances before being adapted for the French-speaking world (Je t’aime, tu es parfait … change !) and performed in Paris at the Vingtième Théâtre in 2013. From 2005, Di Pietro’s works were already being staged in the major theatres on Broadway. He has been nominated and has won several awards for, among other works, the musicals Memphis (two Tony Awards in 2010, including Best Original Score) and Nice Work If You Can Get It, featuring music from George Gershwin’s musical and starring Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara, for which he won the Drama Desk Award for the book of the musical in 2012. As well as producing musicals, a genre that is close to his heart, he writes plays and comedies, such as Creating Claire, The Last Romance and Clever Little Lies, the original title of Confidences, which ran on Broadway from 2013 to 2015. His most recent production, a musical titled Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, premiered in New York in spring 2017.


Joe Di Pietro’s play Clever Little Lies, now titled Confidences in Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s elegant and sparkling adaptation, is the story of a wreckage: the wreckage of a family.
It’s a wreckage that hinges on a confession when a whispered confidence ignites a tinder-dry situation and upsets the precious but precarious balance of the relationships between couples and between parents and children.
Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s French adaptation of the original American play, provided me with a dialogue that combines humour and gravity allowing the play to unfold and, at the same time, preserving the basic plot. The art of suspense serves the cause of comedy. The characters belong to us: they could be you and me, right now!
Directing a play means bringing out all that is most desperate, painful and dangerous about the situations.
As the masks of tragedy and comedy so powerfully symbolise, you’ve got to juggle with that delicate borderline that topples tragedy into comedy.


The Dog



By Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt
Directed by Marie-Françoise and Jean-Claude BROCHE
Patrice DEHENT

“If men are naïve enough to believe in God, dogs are naïve enough to believe in men”.
So, what is the secret that shackles Samuel Heymman’s soul, a universally respected doctor but someone even his daughter finds hard to fathom? What lies behind the extraordinary bond that has linked him with his dogs for 40 years?
Presented like a thriller, this moving play explores the manifold forms of communication between living beings: love, hate, revenge and forgiveness. An arresting and disturbing lesson on humanity that enjoyed huge success at the 2016 Avignon Off Festival.


What attracted us above all to Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s “The Dog” was its profound humanism. Offering relatively little in the way of dialogue, the novella prompted us to find the most efficient and faithful means of adapting it for the stage.

A man commits suicide after the accidental death of his dog. The strength of the bond between the two is a mystery to everyone, most of all to his only daughter and her partner.
The novella is structured in two parts, and our first task, as directors and adaptors for the stage, was to bring the two parts together in the space and time of the theatre.
A spare, uncluttered set, gentle lighting, sincere, pared-down acting and a strong text leave audiences free to use their imagination and create the universe for themselves.

We used the interplay of the actors’ eye contact and stage moves to build up the dialogue between the narrator and his doctor-friend, who have not seen each other for five days at the point when the narrative begins with the doctor’s violent death.

A long letter written by Samuel Heymann to his daughter and received after his death by his writer-friend opens up communication between these sensitive characters. The letter becomes a kind of “go-between”, a valve that takes on a life of its own and allows the deceased man to be embodied on stage. Death breaks down Samuel Heymann’s wall of silence, and his past becomes our present in a dramatic flashback.
The actor needs to reveal himself as intimately and sincerely as he can, and he then takes audiences on a journey, with the author as the supreme guide but where the written secrets are turned into verbal secrets, in the interests of a staged production.

The aim of our adaptation was to stay as true to the original novella as we could, and the audience thus witnesses the unveiling of one man’s enigmatic life and the touching, empathic understanding of his dog.

We see the book as a kind of fusion of the author’s skill and imagination and the conscious, private feelings of his readers, and in the same way, we want audiences to be guided by the actors so that they become the creators of their own internal cinema.

For us, it’s essential to maintain for as long as possible the subtlety of the suspense intended by the author.

Marie-Françoise and Jean-Claude BROCHE


Sometimes, directors can see drama where the author hadn’t spotted it. When Marie-Françoise and Jean-Claude BROCHE asked to adapt one of my novellas, they took me by surprise. I had written such an intimate and touching story that to my mind, it could only be read in silence. But as I knew them, I decided to risk trusting them. My second surprise was even greater, when I saw their production at the Avignon Festival. The show was performed by two first-rate actors and I found the depths of emotion that had generated the novella, a story that’s especially close to my heart and that I’d spent many years working on. And I reacted like audiences every day: I stood up with tears in my eyes to applaud and express my thanks.

The Dog is about humanity’s dark days. What bizarre cruelty… Man manages to blind himself with ideas. But dogs can’t do that. Aren’t they sometimes more human than humans? They’re not racist, that’s for sure, and never perverted by ideologies.
How is it they still see the victim’s face when his aggressors have cease to notice it?
This novella was inspired by Emmanuel Levinas and casts light among the shadows: a dog’s vision of the world.

Eric-Emmanuel SCHMITT

Partners in Crime


FROM 29 September 2016


Gilles is suffering from amnesia as the result of a mysterious accident. He returns to his wife of fifteen years a stranger to himself.

Who is he?
Who is Lisa?
What used their married life to be?

From what she tells him, he tries to piece together their existence. But suppose Lisa is lying?

Can Gilles be sure he is the man she describes, and is she in fact his wife? A suspenseful thriller about a couple in search of the truth. A black comedy full of surprises in which light-hearted banter alternates with full-scale war.