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Showing on January 22–24, 2019

Playing at Performance Works


Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas (France/UK)

What emerges in PALMYRA is a meditation on revenge, world politics and the positions from which we judge them.

In this prizewinning piece, the set is almost bare and broken crockery is the main prop; PALMYRA may seem slight at first glance, but it’s about as rich in implication as one could ask for. The situation can be described bluntly and simply: two men are onstage, and one of them has a plate while the other does not. From this, conflict emerges that ranges from the comical to the brutal. The audience is drawn into the work in surprising and provocative ways…

Named after a Syrian city that has changed hands several times during the current fighting, this show slowly builds to the level of violence, creating and sustaining moral ambiguity along the way. What emerges is a meditation on revenge, world politics and the positions from which we judge them. The small-scale war onstage grows large in the mind; very rarely does one see so much communicate with so few resources. In its humour, its aggression and its pathos, this is a stunning work.

A brilliant piece… You start by laughing and by the end you watch appalled as fascinated. —The Guardian


Artist Bio

Bertrand Lesca & Nasi Voutsas (France / UK)

Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas are the creators of EUROHOUSE (2016), PALMYRA (2017) and ONE (2019), a trilogy of work on contemporary political issues. The two have been working together since 2015; they are also Associate Artists of MAYK (Bristol) and International Associates of Farnham Maltings.


Performance Works

1218 Cartwright Street, Granville Island, Vancouver


January 22–24
65 minutes, no intermission



Single tickets $39
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Content note: performance includes props that generate a fine dust. Patrons with respiratory sensitivity who wish to attend should consider identifying themselves to ushers to be seated in an area that allows for an easy exit, if necessary


PERFORMERS Bertrand Lesca, Nasi Voutsas DRAMATURG Louise Stephens LIGHTING DESIGNER Jo Palmer SUPPORT BY Croquis_BCN, Bristol Ferment, MAYK, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Ovalhouse, HOME, National Lottery through Arts Council England