THE ONE-EYED PEOPLE by Mustafa Benfodil, directed by Kheireddine Lardjam. © Compagnie El Ajouad
Volume 1

Kheireddine Lardjam, Traveller Between Two Shores

Kheireddine Lardjam, Traveler Between Two Shores
by Marina Da Silva
This article first appeared in
Theater im arabischen Sprachraum/Theatre in the Arab World
Edited by Rolf C. Hemke, Theater der Zeit, 2013
It is reproduced with permission from the publishing house, Theater der Zeit, Berlin, Germany.
 Arab StagesVolume 1, Number 1 (Fall 2014)
 ©2014 by Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publications

One of the few great directors of his generation, Kheireddine Lardjam has come a very long way and made an improbable journey, successfully anchoring his work on both sides of the Mediterranean. Born in 1976 in Oran, he was little more than a child at the start of the “black decade” of the 1990s which killed tens of thousands of people, and only just eighteen when in 1994 Abdelkader Alloula, a true icon of Algerian theatre, was assassinated. The trauma put the town and the country in a state of shock. For Kheireddine, Alloula was a role-model, a charismatic figure. An actor, director, and writer, he wrote for the Algerian people in their dialect and in such a way that the story, told through the figure of the goual (the storyteller) and the theatrical device of the khalka (the circle), was at the heart of the drama.

Battling against the political and social situation in his country, Alloula took his fight everywhere: municipal theatres, village halls, public squares, Moorish baths, cafés, backs of shops, cellars . . . Kheireddine Lardjam took up where he left off, not copying but reinventing this theatre of stating and playing, in which the text has the power to change minds and to transform society. He also retained Alloula’s relationship with language, which shows in his poetry and his musicality, and in the total physical commitment of the actors.

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