Exchange Theatre presents


by Jean-Paul Sartre

4 weeks alternately in English and French

“So much innovation, invention and energy!
Megamulticultural Exchange Theatre have done the unimaginable!”
The Londonist
“Amazingly intense” The Scotsman
★★★★ FringeReview
Double Offie nominated in 2018, Exchange Theatre are celebrating their first decade of work with an anniversary revival of their first critical and public success: Jean-Paul Sartre’s rebellious and highly political play The Flies. Sartre’s thriller re-imagines the Greek tragedy of Electra and Orestes, exploring the complexities of human values in a period of political turbulence.

Directed by David Furlong, Exchange Theatre’s multidisciplinary and multimedia production of The Flies returns in 2019, as topical and poignant as ever. Exchange Theatre are joined on stage by a live Mauritian rock band, A Riot in Heaven, transforming this tragedy into a thrilling rock opera. A company priding themselves in their international and multi-cultural heritage, Exchange Theatre’s The Flies will be performed alternately in French and English in tribute to Sartre’s roots, and the 1943 play’s origins as a political allegory.

Orestes comes back to his birth-place of Argos to find his people under the oppression of fear and guilt: they all bear the burden of King Agamemnon’s assassination. Orestes knows he’s free and he will defy Gods and Kings. As Orestes is hounded by Jupiter, god of flies, fear and death, The Flies examines freedom, oppression and courage. Exchange Theatre presents a very contemporary version: with a live rock-band, a very physical raw organic direction and with the support of a multi-screen video design.
« It’s the tragedy of liberty against the tragedy of fatality » says Sartre.
The flies are the symbol of the burden of fate and disinformation tormenting Argos with eery rock guitars. Fear is what drives people today to become, like in Argos, ghost-like, fed by medias. The Flies is a raw performance with live music; it's a Greek myth, a tale of liberty with a Sartrian bloody edge. The flies are an image, a symbol of several ideas, of remorse, guilt, fear and fate.
Artistic Director David Furlong comments:
"Exchange Theatre is celebrating ten years, successfully establishing itself with recognition, nominations, and a following, and becoming a charity this year. It is important now more than ever to work with ideas of multi-culturalism, languages, equality in casting, and holistic practice. As a French company in the UK producing a French play, it is important to have the mere presence of French philosophy during uncertainty around Brexit. The Flies is about fighting for liberty against misguided populist powers such as we are seeing in Europe and the Americas."
Director David Furlong
Producer Fanny Dulin
Assistant Director Paloma Jacob Duvernet
Music A Riot in Heaven
Musicians Leo Elso, Billy Boguard, Thomas Broda
Set Design Ninon Fandre
Costumes Sarah Habib
Lighting / Video Julien Bernard Grau
Operator Catja Hamilton
Movement Jennifer Kay
Fights Kevin Rowntree

Meena Rayann as Electra

(Game of Thrones, HBO; Hilda, Odds On Productions 2019; multi-award winning No Love Lost, Intelligent Ink Films)

Samy Elkhatib as Orestes

(professional debut)

David Furlong as Aegisthus

(Offie-nominated productions of The Doctor in Spite of Himself & Misanthrope, Exchange Theatre)

Fanny Dulin as Clytemnestra/Fury

(Misanthrope, Camden People Theatre; Medée Khali, Laurent Gaudé)

Raul Fernandes as Jupiter

(Dangerous Liaisons; Don Juan; Quartier des Banques, RTS)

Juliet Dante as The Tutor

(award-winning St Joan, Julia Pascal; The Dybbuk, Off-Broadway)

Jonathan Brandt as The Anonymous

(Much Ado About Nothing & Neil Gwyn, Tower Theatre Company; The Learned Ladies, Exchange Theatre)

Soraya Spiers as The Woman/Fury

(Thursday, Southwark Playhouse; The Penelopiad, Jackson’s Lane; critically-acclaimed Made Up, Arts Theatre)

Chris Runciman as the High Priest/Fury

(NewsRevue, Canal Café Theatre; Broke Britannia, Bridewell Theatre; Gaga V. Assange, Adelaide Fringe)

Exchange Theatre
Since 2006 Exchange Theatre produces rare major foreign plays in London and from 2012, we have been developing ambitious multilingual productions to critical acclaim, with a strong visual imagery, original music, multimedia creations, nominated for video design (Offies 2019). Strong of a portfolio of over 30 shows, Exchange Theatre is now followed by a multicultural and diverse audience. 

A Riot in Heaven
A Riot in Heaven are a Mauritian rock band, with Indie Oceans Records. Previous albums include ReEvolution and Weekend on Proxima. A Riot in Heaven worked closely with Exchange Theatre on the 2009 production of The Flies, and Exchange Theatre are pleased to welcome them back for this exciting revival.