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In Isabella’s Room, Viviane De Muynck plays the character Isabella Morandi, a strong woman who tells the remarkable story of her life against the background of the 20th century. Isabella Morandi spent much of her life in Paris, and one of her female friends was the poetess Claire Goll, an indefatigably vain woman who left us some sensational memoirs that have been published in several languages.

In this monologue, through the ageing Claire Goll, Viviane De Muynck seeks out the relationship between reality and one’s personal experience of it, the way images and truths overlap each other, and the fiction of historical truth, the lie of acted reality.

Using the artists who figured in Goll’s life, from Joyce, Rilke and Breton to Léger, Dali and Chagall, she demonstrates that artistic significance and human value do not always coincide, just as Goll’s privileged testimonies often become perverse exposures of what is intimate and fragile.

But Claire Goll does not spare herself either, and speaks openheartedly about her hatred of her mother, her search for protection and authority, her opinion that women are inferior creatures, and her discovery of true sexuality with a young lover at the end of her life.

Directed by Jan Lauwers, Viviane De Muynck threads her murmuring way through the great history of the 20th century.

New creation by Viviane De Muynck/Jan Lauwers & Needcompany

Coproduced by Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Festival d’Avignon and Théâtre Garonne (Toulouse).

With the cooperation of Kaaitheater (Brussels) and deSingel (Antwerp).

Needcompany is subsidised by the Flemish Community.