Fatema Mernissi / Harems

Le Festin - Compagnie Anne-Laure Liégeois

Fatema Mernissi / Harems

Amal Ayouch and Sanae Assif

“I was born in a harem in Fes.”

These are the opening words of the novel Dreams of Trespass by Fatema Mernissi, a Moroccan sociologist and feminist. Exploring the theme of boundaries across several works, she takes us through the harems of the East and the West alike. Amal Ayouch and Sanae Assif express, through imagery and music, the complexity of relationships between men and women in the Arab world, the significance of the word as a manipulable material, and the hope for a world “where difference will require no veil, where women’s bodies will move naturally, and where their desires will generate no fear.”

I was born in a harem in Fes.

Company presentation

Le Festin (The Feast), born in 1992, owes its name to Seneca's bloody play Thyestes, which Anne-Laure Liégeois translated during her classical literature studies, and to her lifelong enjoyment of feasts and celebrations. From the beginning, Le Festin was a collaborative tool: the company's first production brought together 50 actors. Then it became a feast of words: contemporary playwrights, authors from the Repertoire, poets, and novelists were always invited to the table. Le Festin briefly lent its name to the CDN de Montluçon (a national drama center) before returning to "civilian life."


Anne-Laure Liégeois - Director

Anne-Laure Liégeois alternates between directing ancient texts - such as Seneca's Medea and Euripides' Electra - and classical texts - Molière's Don Juan, Shakespeare's Macbeth, Marivaux's La Dispute, Corneille's La Place Royale - as well as close collaborations with contemporary authors - Arno Bertina, Olivier Kemeid, Rémi De Vos, Marie Nimier - and performances with unique forms (such as Embouteillage, Ça, Richelieu, Le Réveil for the BnF in September 2022) and socially engaged themes (On aura tout, Avignon In 2017, La Veillée de l'humanité, Théâtre de Chaillot in December 2018). From 2010 to 2012, she presented four productions at the Comédie Française. She served as the director of the Centre Dramatique National de Montluçon until 2012. Currently, she is touring with Des Châteaux qui brûlent by Arno Bertina and preparing for Racine's Phèdre in 2024-2025.

Amal Ayouch - Actress

Amal Ayouch is one of the leading figures in Moroccan cinema and theater, known for her demanding and socially engaged role choices. Her career is marked by a wide range of roles in Moroccan and international films that often tackle social and political issues. In cinema, she has appeared in films such as Destin de femmes, Ali Zaoua, Les Anges de Satan, Les Jeux de l'amour, Eye In Juliet, L'Orchestre de minuit, Palestina, and more. In theater, she has performed in Brecht's Antigone, Beckett's Waiting for Godot, Nabyl Lahlou's Ophélie n'est pas morte, Driss Chraibi's La Civilisation Ma Mère, and in Roméo et Juliette directed by Anne-Laure Liégeois. As a committed advocate for women's rights in Morocco, she is also the godmother of the non-profit organization Solidarité Féminine. Amal Ayouch is a founding member of the Fondation des Arts Vivants, where she advocates for the promotion of theater in Morocco and its accessibility to all.

Sanae Assif - Actress

Sanae Assif is an actress, a graduate of the Conservatory of Dramatic Art in Casablanca, and co-founder of the theater collective 19h Théâtre in Morocco. In 2017, she moved to Paris to pursue her theater studies and she also continued to train internationally. She primarily works in three countries: in France, collaborating with Anne-Laure Liégeois in productions such as Peer Gynt or Romeo and Juliette (assistant director). In Spain, she performs in El jardin de las Hespérides, a theater-dance production directed by Alicia Soto. In Morocco, she has appeared in Shakespeare In Heart by Lahcen Zinoun, Roberto Zucco directed by Abdelhak Khairi, and Allah yeslah / Que Dieu répare ! by Youssef Lahrichi. Most recently, she performed in the solo show Elle était une fois la jupe by Amin Boudrika (winner of the Best Creation Award at the African Theater Festival in Rabat in April 2023).


Based on the writings of Fatema Mernissi
Adaptation and direction Anne-Laure Liégeois
Starring Amal Ayouch and Sanae Assif
Text research collaboration Asmaa Houri and Amal Ayouch
Assistant director Olivier Dutilloy
Lighting design Guillaume Tesson
Scenography Anne-Laure Liégeois


A production by Le Festin – Compagnie Anne-Laure Liégeois and Gorara pour les arts et les cultures
Co-produced by Théâtre National Mohammed V, 19H Théâtre, 
With the support of the International Commission of Francophone Theatre (CITF), CIH Bank, Moroccan Ministry of Youth, Communication and Culture, the French Institute of Morocco and the French Embassy in Morocco, Bayer, L’Uzine, Shem’s, Fondation des Cultures du Monde, and the CCME (Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad).

Your contacts in Avignon (pro only)

Mathilde Priolet
06 70 78 05 98 / m.priolet@lefestin.org


13:00 > 14:00

07 > 24.07

Breaks on 12 & 19.07

Intra-Muros Route /

From the age of 12

Tarif Plein : 18,50€
Tarif Off : 13€
Tarif Pro : 8€

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