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Raisonnez (2004)

Er is geen hoop - Ward De Vleeschhouwer

A play freely inspired on the cruel acts of the French noblemen Gilles De Rais.

As a hero he stood side by side with the famous Jeanne d’Arc during the war against the English in the middle ages. As a zero he stood in the court being accused of the cruel slaughter of over 700 children.

Raisonnez is music-theatre where a group of seven children acts as choir, tribunal and narrators.

Between his hero like wars against the English and his trial ten years later there’s a gap in the archives. NUNC filled that gap with a story that tries to answer the why and how of the cruel slaughter of over 700 children in France.

We assumed that Gilles de Rais was madly in love with Jeanne d’Arc. That he admired her strength, courage and love for the country and God. De Rais starts seeing Jeanne d’Arc as an angel. An angel that was sacrificed once the war was won. (Jeanne d’Arc was burned as a witch on the marketplace in Rouen.)


We created a story based upon this assumption.  We saw de Rais as madly in love, sad and fully aware that no one could ever bring Jeanne d’Arc back to the living.

The main character in Raisonnez, leaves everything behind, walks endless nights through empty corridors. And one day, almost by accident, de Rais shoots a four year old. When he sees the huge response, the anger and the sadness of the surrounding people he knows that their pain comes closely to his own itching heart. There the perverse idea germinates.

At this point the main character starts killing not only out of revenge but also as consoling act. Without time to reflect de Rais leaves a bloody trail in his on going massacre.

Van Tourhout won the Prize for Playwright of East-Flanders for Raisonnez.






Raisonnez is rousing music theatre. The text is written sharp and witty with a bittersweet taste on the tongue of the actors. Actress Leen De Veirman, both as king and butcher, confronts the audience with stringent timing, which results in visual and musicalpearls. Raisonnez recreates the atmosphere of the grim Goya. (De Morgen)

With Raisonnez, NUNC shows that it isn’t afraid of taking risks. They fully engage in the confrontation of words, acting and music. Van Tourhout seeks new ways to express and create, not by copying others but as an trailmaker. He transposes horror into a-capella music and the acting never is realistic but always remains alienating.


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