Pierre Nouvel's clever set

This evening we went to the Kaai Theatre to see a new production, Austerlitz, derived from the W.G. Sebald novel of the same name. Conceived of by Jérome Combier, acted by Johan Leysen, with video and scenography by Pierre Nouvel, lighting by Bertrand Couderc and music by Ictus, ten years to the day after Sebald died, in a traffic accident, this production seeks to reproduce the internal atmospherics of the dark world that Austerlitz describes, and so we make the transition with Leysen’s deep, sombre voice from archives to stations to transit camps to death camps, as the narrator seeks out the parents who sent him away so that he would not suffer their fate. Powerful stuff – and timely. A reminder of where we never, ever want to go again.