Celebrate International Women’s Day with Leyla Metssitane



STUPEUR ET TREMBLEMENTS photo Sandra Schmidt 2

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8th at 7:00pm

In honor of International Women’s day, Alliance Française de Los Angeles and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of Belgium present AMELIE NOTHOMB – FEAR AND TREMBLING staged and played by Layla Metssitane .

Alone on stage, she appears first as an enigmatic woman veiled in black, then while reading a book, she turns slowly into a geisha, the face made up in white, all the while telling the pricelessly funny story of a young western woman, hired by a Japanese company, and who, minding business that wasn’t her own motivated by an impulse of love toward her boss of untouchable beauty, ends up cleaning up the toilets…

Champagne, Godiva Chocolate & Belgian Beer Reception

Venue :
Edgemar Center for the Arts
2637 Main Street, Santa Monica CA 90405
Purchase Tickets HERE: $8.00 for Alliance Française Members/$10.00 for non-members


Interview with Layla Metssitane 

Multi-faceted artist Layla Metssitane  has adapted, translated and directed Stupeur et tremblements, on top of also performing the play on stage. In this interview given at the Théâtre de Poche, in France, the Moroccan born artist gives us a glimpse of her creative process.

How did you get the idea to put Stupeur et Tremblements on stage?Layla Metssitane : I had read the novel when I was 18 years old and three things touched me: Amélie Nothomb’s sense of humour, her view of women and her examination of the working world in Japan (the relationship between men and women). I was destined for economics, and I was very aware of the codified universe of the company. I wanted to bring that language to the stage, and to appropriate it, because it resonated in me on a number of levels. My first attempt came was when I was 20 years old, and then years later, Anne Delbée revived my desire to perform this text. It was created with La Compagnie Théâtre des Hommes, and since 2010, I have been continuously travelling with this production, that I originally adapted and performed at Avignon. The Alliance française and French cultural institutes then took the production under their wings: I have already performed in 17 countries.

What do you mean about « appropriating » the script?

L.M.: I am from Morocco and from an Arab-Muslim culture where the condition of women is particular and questionable for some. In the Japanese society described by Amélie Nothomb, we find an equivalent treatment of women, objects of submission, forced to obey behavioural rules that they never question, which can seem astonishing to our emancipated Western eyes. This sliding from one culture to another seemed opportune to avoid a conflict between the two cultures by simply showing that women receive similar treatment in Japan and a Muslim country… The dress codes seem to support this: I start the production in a niqab, and continue with traditional white make-up in the Japanese tradition.