11.05 - 12.05

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

théâtre . cycles . Grand Théâtre
drive your plow
Lieu Grand Théâtre
In English
inconnue, spectacle en création
Introduction to the play by Janine Goedert 30 minutes before every performance (EN).

Based on the novel by Olga Tokarczuk
Cycle « Vivre ensemble »

The world-renowned international touring company, Complicité, returns to Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg with a brand-new production, directed by Simon McBurney, based on Nobel Prize laureate Olga Tokarczuk’s novel. The darkly comic, anarchic noir caused a seismic reaction in Tokarczuk’s native Poland due to its defiant attack on authoritarian structures, with right-wing press branding the writer an ‘eco-terrorist’ and national traitor.

The company was last seen in Luxembourg with their hit production The Master and Margarita in 2011.

The story begins in the depths of winter in a small community on a remote Polish mountainside. Men from the local hunting club are dying in mysterious circumstances and Janina Duszejko – an eccentric older local woman, environmentalist, amateur astronomer and enthusiastic translator of William Blake – has her suspicions. She has been watching the animals with whom the community shares their isolated, rural home, and she believes they are acting strangely…

Engaged in fierce resistance against the injustices around her, Janina refuses to be a prisoner of society and gender. Her actions ask questions both of the male world which surrounds her and of our deeper human intentions: what does it mean to be human and what does it mean to be animal, and can we separate the two? Why is the killing of animals sport and that of humans murder?

A thought-provoking, wry and otherworldly murder mystery, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a tale about the cosmos, poetry, and the limitations and possibilities of activism.

“A new Complicité show isn't just a devised play: it's a theatrical event. At the company's inimitable best, it is a ticket to another world.”

Time Out on The Master and Margarita
“…one of the most fully-immersive theatre pieces ever created…”
New York Times on Complicité’s award-winning production of The Encounter
“Olga Tokarczuk has created an extraordinary world that speaks to my deepest sense of the continuity between humankind and nature – a world where, like a mycelium web, all entities are connected deeply at the roots, unable to exist alone. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a tale about the cosmos, poetry, and the limitations and possibilities of activism. Tokarczuk is a prophet for our times who understands us in all our hilarity, messiness, cruelty and animalism, and it is a great privilege to bring to the stage what is surely one of literature's most urgent accounts of being alive today.”
Complicité Artistic Director, Simon McBurney


Directed by
Simon McBurney
Barbican London, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Bristol Old Vic, Comédie de Genève, Holland Festival, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, L'Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, The Lowry, The National Theatre of Iceland, Oxford Playhouse, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen and Theatre Royal Plymouth.
Based on the novel by
Olga Tokarczuk
Set and Costume Design
Rae Smith
Lighting Design
Paule Constable
Sound Design
Christopher Shutt
Video Design
Dick Straker
Additional Direction
Kirsty Housley
Dramaturgy by
Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre and Laurence Cook
Lighting Associate
Lucía Sánchez Roldán
Sound Associate
Ella Walhstrӧm.
Thomas Arnold, Johannes Flaschberger, Amanda Hadingue, Kathryn Hunter, Kiren Kebaili-Dwyer, Weronika Maria,Tim McMullan, César Sarachu, Sophie Steer, Alexander Uzoka
Original novel translated by
Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Design Assistant
William Fricker
Artwork by
Patryk Hardziej


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