Nadia Xerri-L

 

NXL fell in love with playwriting at 11. When she dares to write, playwriting seems to be obvious and necessary for her. She builds it with a simple language and a singular whisper. Being inclined to create always more links with audiences, she endeavours to go to meet people who don’t go to theatre. For 5 years, she has been creating two-part shows : a part of history in a little form outside-the-walls, other part on stage. Inspired by these exchanges, the issues discussed are as various as current, trying to ask about the real, with always the question of intimate as a backdrop.

Born in 1971, Nadia Xerri-L. launched into theatrical writing at 30, after a drama school and a master’s degree of contemporary poetry. Since 2003, she stages her texts: Solo d’Ava and Couteau de Nuit at Théâtre de la Ville, L’une de l’autre, at TPV again, Elles at Théâtre of Bretigny, and Julie Telle Que created at CDN of Montluçon. In 2009 she was invited by Ecole du Théâtre National de Bretagne to perform a show with the seniors. In 2010 she conducts a workshop with the juniors. L’instinct de l’instant and Le chemin du But are staged in SN of Havre, Evry, Sète and Belfort. TOUT QUITTER (sauf si on danse) is created with professional and amateur comedians. In 2013, she created a two-parts play WESTERN: Je suis/Tue s/Calamity Jane and Dans la nuit de Belfort… Since 2011, she is associate artist of Scène Nationale du Havre, she is writer-in-residence at Scène Nationale of Dunkerque.

Theatre works
2002 / Solo d’Ava; first staged: 2003, L’harmonie Municipale, Saint Denis ; published by Actes Sud-Papiers, 2006
2004 / L’une de l’autre; first staged: 2006, Théâtre Paris-Villette; published by Actes Sud-Papiers, 2006.
2005 / Boîtes et solitude; first staged: 2008, L’Atelier du Plateau, Paris; published by Actes Sud-Papiers, 2006
2006 / Couteau de nuit; first staged: 2008, CDN de Reims; published by Actes Sud-Papiers, 2008
2007 / Julie telle que; first staged: 2009, CDN de Montluçon; published by Actes Sud Collection d’une seule voix, 2008
2009 / L’instinct de l’instant; first staged: 2011, Le Volcan, scène nationale du Havre; published by Actes Sud-Papiers, 2011
2010 / Le chemin du But; première création: La Norville, Essonne; published by Actes Sud-Papiers (forthcoming)
2013 / Je Suis / Tu Es / Calamity Jane; first staged: 2013, Festival Mythos à Rennes; published by Actes Sud Papiers, automne 2013 (à forthcoming)
2012 / Dans la nuit de Belfort; first staged: 2013, Le Volcan, Scène Nationale du Havre ; published by Actes Sud- Papiers, 2013 (forthcoming)

Dans la nuit de Belfort
One night in Belfort 5 characters, 5 sales managers with different backgrounds. Tino, 45, learnt his skills on the job. David, 28, went to a prestigious Business School – HEC. Elisa, 29, parents farmers, a clear round ( a faultless track record). Franck, “ a good employee”, who can’t get over a breakup. Youri, 28, a serious worker and party animal. “After two days of hard work in a motivational seminar in a strange town, a group of 5 sales managers, a woman and four men, indulge in their usual rites of depressurization, drinking, singing, dancing in a karaoke bar and re-enacting their favourite scenes from a film, this time Rio Bravo, by Howard Hawks, But that night in Belfort those rites will not help them assuage their tensions, but they will unravel their bonds and reveal their worst sides…”

– Extracts from Dans la nuit de Belfort

Tino, Franck, Elisa, David and Youri, in chorus
Right then – what happened then is impossible to explain
Moment after moment
Each one of us snorted
Neighed
Kicked
Tino?
Elisa?
Franck?
Youri?
David?
Each one of us turned into a horse
Each with his or her own gait
Different breeds
A hord
In the small karaoke bar, a hord
None of us is walking
We’re galloping faster and faster
Full gallop
And then little by little we’re rearing
And rearing again
We neighing echoing each other
We cannot be restrained
Nor mastered by any rider, or bouncer for that matter
Competing in speed and bravado
We’re running away
Bolting away
From the karaoke bar
We were in a sleazy neighbourhood
And then left it
We’re bolting away
Away
None of us is a nag
More a mustang
We’re leaving the Belfort Territory
We’re not interested in Vesoul
We’re galloping
Galloping
Galloping
Galloping
We want the ocean
We want sea water splashing in our nostrils
We’re crossing the River Moselle
The River Saône
We’re going through the Vosges and the Côte d’Or
Through the Aube department
Up the River Seine
Sens is not far
And Paris right there too
Car drivers on the ring road pressing hard on the brakes
Car drivers and passengers can’t believe their eyes
Possibly a pile-up
We’re galloping
Galloping
Galloping
Galloping
Now we are moving on the Paris quays
Moving under bridges
The aerial metro
Notre-Dame cathedral ahead
From way up high
She doesn’t look askance at us
The Pont au Change
The Pont Neuf
The Pont des Arts
The glass roof of the Grand Palais, over there, sparkling
We’re going through the Tuileries garden
The glass panes of the Pyramid are shaking
The Place de la Concorde already in view
The cobblestones are hard for our hooves
But we’re galloping on
Galloping
Full gallop
The Champs-Elysées now
They’re all stupefied
Even the Republican Horse Guards can’t keep up
Those by foot, bike, car, motorbike, all have to stand still
But we’re losing no time
The Arc de Triomphe
The Arche de la Défense just after
Suit-and-tie guys on the big squares quite unsettled by it all
Don’t worry guys we’re of the same breed, supposedly
They’re loosening their ties
But we’re running full speed
Up the River Seine again
We’re galloping
Galloping
Full gallop
Bougival dead arm of the River
Won’t go there
Won’t have it
There! The workers at the Flins car factory have heard the deafening noise of our hooves clattering on the ground
Left the factory
The bosses too are there
No deduction from salaries
We’re neighing
They’re happy
They’re relieved
We’re kicking
Bolting away
Balking
Abruptly
But neatly
We’re doing all that’s expected from us horses and begging for their attention
The River Seine loops
And loops again
We’d love to go straight ahead
But we’re following the River Seine
“I will walk through woods
I will walk through mountains
I cannot stay away from you any longer”
We’re watching the ferry slowly crossing over to the other bank
Children are waving at us
We’re happy
Truly happy
Now the Estuary
The Sandouville car workers are there
We’re galloping for you too guys
Just as for your brothers and sisters from
Or elsewhere
Full gallop
Now comes Tancarville
We’re running through the goods containers of the Port of le Havre
Sometimes we bump into them
But off we run again
The Channel is nothing more than a wide stream in a canyon for us
We’re galloping
Galloping
Full gallop
Straight ahead of us
No more French towns for us
We want the Ocean
We want America
The Sonoran desert
Arizona
The 32nd parallel
We won’t go near England
We’re moving forward against westerly winds
Above the Anticyclone
Against the North Atlantic Drift
Getting ready for the Labrador Current
Bracing up for the 55th parallel
What we’re doing there isn’t the worst of what we’re planning to do
There is Newfoundland
The River Saint-Laurent ( the Saint Lawrence)
None of us is asking when do we get there
Nor is it still far
Montreal
Buffalo
Detroit
Chicago
Fast through Illinois
At the source of the Mississipi river
Kansas City
Pampa
The State of New Mexico
Crossing the Rio Grande
Fuck, we’re getting nearer names are ringing clear
We’re galloping
Galloping
Full gallop
Nearly there
Short of breath
Arizona
Stiff necks
Silver City
Safford
Tucson at last
We want 1860 Tucson
We want mangers
Mangers
As there were in Tucson Main Street in 1860
One single dusty Main Street
Saloon bars
Hotel
Jail
Shops
On each side
We want to gallop in this dusty street
Be tied to porch railings
But this is not 1860
So we’re bolting off 15 miles west
Towards Old Tucson
Old Tucson where Rio Bravo was shot
Old Tucson as our final destination
Old Tucson as our ultimate destination!