A city, at night. It rains. A man, not really from here, not quite a foreigner, speaks to a passerby. He asks for a light, a cigarette, he’s looking for a room for the night… he can’t stop talking, but the passerby remains silent.
La Nuit juste avant les forêts, the ebullient text by Bernard-Marie Koltès from 1981, marked a renaissance for the playwright who had not written anything for three years. Thanks to this play, Koltès’ work was staged for the first time at the Comédie-Française and his long collaboration began with the great Patrice Chéreau.
Forty years later, this visionary text is still as strong in its form, the soliloquy, as it is in the issues it presents — oppression, society, loneliness, exclusion, precarity and racism – and that still deeply resonate today. In a minimal dark setting reminiscent of paintings by Pierre Soulages, Jean-Christophe Folly unveils a luminoso performance. He talks about desire, flight, struggles, work, alcohol and death, blood and betrayal. He stands proud and dignified in his downfall. The music composed by violinist Carla Pallone exalts his magnetic presence.
Show performed in French. Duration: 1 hour, 25 minutes.
Tickets and Details
Performances are free and open to the public. Advance tickets required. Reserve tickets online
COVID-19 Guidance + Updates
Per Princeton University policy, all guests must either be fully vaccinated, or have recently tested negative (via PCR within 72 hours or via rapid antigen test within 8 hours of the scheduled visit) and be prepared to show proof if asked, or wear a face covering when indoors and around others.
The Matthews Acting Studio is wheelchair accessible. Visit our Venues and Studios section for accessibility information at our various locations. Guests in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email LewisCenter@princeton.edu at least one week in advance of the event date.