"There are adventures that start badly but end well, and the opposite is also common. But the story of Dédale starts badly and finishes catastrophically with a record deficit of two million francs for the company.

I was never attracted by the Avignon Festival. Every time we went, I was left with a feeling of suffocation and the impression of an immense waste. Our representative, Marie-Pierre Paillard, saw the festival as essential for the company's image. She suggests to Bernard Faivre d’Arcier that we put on Voyageur immobile. He obviously preferred a new play. She would regularly came back to ask me, and I was so convinced that she had about as much chance of getting him to accept as of flying to the moon that, in order to discourage her, one day I reply: “if you get the Cour d’honneur, why not?”. But I should have been more careful. Marie-Pierre is a soldier's daughter and she never admits defeat. Sure enough, to my great despair, not long afterwards she informed us that the Cour d’honneur awaited us...

How best to use the wonderful setting of the Papal Palace, this immense open-air courtyard? How could we draw the spectator into an internal journey whereas everything projects outwards; the immensity of the location, the stage, the canopy of the heavens…? I decide to inverse the setting, with the sky at the bottom at the rear of the courtyard; the upside becomes down...

When the public enters, only the seats are lit, leaving the courtyard in darkness. When the lights are cut, the public discovers hundreds of stars at the rear. A window is lit up at the top of the palace's façade, a man leans out before suddenly falling, diving, spinning and being swallowed up by the starry sky. Later, the star collectors' hands burst out from the depths to pick them up.

The main character, Dédale, will interact with this upside down world, crossing “ the garden of torments”, “the cemetery of future memories”, and “the silence of confessions” in the middle of a ballet of doors with peepholes inspired by the last part of the labyrinth of corridors in my friend Gilles's building. In the finale, Dédale goes through a final door, his cape is filled with wind, covering part of the stage, and he flies over the battlements of the Papal Palace, leaving an empty stage behind him.

During one of the performances, the mistral starts to blow a gale, the doors hidden in the stage – only held together with folding props - collapse, the dancing doors are replaced by dancing technicians, who have to rush around closing the doors. On the positive side, Dédale's immense cape never flew over the battlements so elegantly.

The characters chase after each other, like in a silent film, opening and closing doors, some of them collapse and fall, before getting back up, revealing a face through a peephole here and there. This ballet – made of dancers, upside down bodies, and upright faces – is fascinating to build, and to watch appear and develop, but Dédale remains a fragmented show; it is missing that overall inspiration and coherence, which is intangible but oh-so important to the creation of imaginary space. The show's title ("Dédale", or "maze" in English) is probably premonitory in more than one respect, as we were destined to really lose ourselves..."

Paysages intérieurs, pp. 170-175 © Actes Sud

After a year of difficult touring, during which the atmosphere deteriorated among the actors, followed by the technical team, half of the team nevertheless insists that the show must go on.

"Former partners - Éric de Sarria and Trond-Erik Vassdal - and a new arrival, Philippe Richard, offer to replace those who leave, and to rehearse without being hired. The theatre of Saint-Brieuc providentially offers us lodging and food. René Aubry and Dominique Dumond even lend money to the company for a few months, allowing us to avoid having our chequebook facilities withdrawn, and to put this derailed show back on track. Rehearsals start again. They allow us to change certain scenes. Dédale gets a second wind. In a cruel irony, what should have been the company's crowning glory in France and only encountered its real public in its final version abroad. We learned a lot… but sometimes it still really hurts."

Paysages intérieurs, p. 177 © Actes Sud