Ionesco suite

2 min

Ionesco Suite directed by Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota

After its creation in 2005, Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota has revisited Ionesco Suite by renewing his approach and vision full of affection for the world of the author of The Bald Prima Donna.

© Jean-Louis Fernandez

A fascination for authors

From his high school years to the time his first company was established in 1987, Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota has enjoyed and loved contemporary and classic texts, both French and foreign. Director of the Comédie de Reims from 2001 to 2007, the Théâtre de la Ville since 2008 and the Autumn Festival in Paris, his passion for playwrights continues to grow. His productions of Ramuz, Brecht, Pirandello and Ionesco, and his collaborations with authors such as Fabrice Melquiot, have shaped his national and international reputation.

Eugène Ionesco, one of his favourite authors, has influenced the research into drama he has been doing with his comedians since 2005.


When the grotesque makes sense

Ionesco Suite is a montage of extracts from four Eugène Ionesco plays: two well-known texts, The Lesson and The Bald Prima Donna, and two that are lesser known, Jack, or The Submission and Frenzy For Two, or More. This montage seeks to explore and evoke the world of Eugène Ionesco, where tragedy and comedy are constantly colliding, charting the fragility and uncertainty of human life.

The action takes place around a banquet table where the guests, wearing small pointed hats and pale face paint, recreate the grotesque, absurd and pessimistic world of Ionesco’s theatre, for whom “the comic is comical only if it is a little scary”.


A collective creation

Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota created Ionesco Suite by studying excerpts from Ionesco’s work with comedians. Creating the show involved research into characters and coming up with ideas for games, with the resulting derision and excesses typical of Ionesco's theatre, bringing laughter and meaning. In a stage setting that creates a feeling of closeness, performers who seem to come out of a fantastical world invite the viewer to take part in this absurd family banquet where anything can happen.


Eugène Ionesco, international author

After its creation in 2005, Ionesco Suite was performed on numerous French and international stages, as well as in 2013 at the Théâtre des Abbesses, and in 2018 at the Espace Pierre Cardin. The play has toured the world, and has been performed in Berlin, Chicago, Rio, Sao Paulo, Moscow and New York.

The Institut français and the project

In 2019, Ionesco Suite’s tour of Turkey and the United States  is supported by the Institut français in partnership with the City of Paris.

The Institut français partners with 21 local authorities to develop international artistic exchanges.


Find out more about project assistance programmes in partnership with local authorities here.