Roland Mahauden, a man of the theater and beyond



Le Poche laments an ex-director still engaged, whose disappearance leaves a great void and many traces, from Brussels to Kinshasa.

Recently, by video, David Minor Ilunga, awarded for his only internship to throw away in the Critics' Awards of 2017-2018, paid a humorous and emotional tribute to his director.

Theatrical adventure for Roland Mahauden began in Congo after studying journalism in 1964, with Roger Domani (founder of Théâtre de Poche in 1951), in order to make an inventory of folk dances in the country. Two years later, he participated in the establishment of Poche in the heart of Bois de la Cambre in Brussels.

He soon became an actor and director of short films and documentaries – mainly in Africa and Central America.

Back to the theater

In 1976, he returned to the stage, as a comedian (in works of René Kalisky, Sherman Martin, John Ford …), assistant (with Derek Goldby, Richard Lewis, Steven Berkoff …), director (of Genet and Tremblay, Ovide and Vaclav Havel, Danis Tanovic and Alain Mabanckou, among many others).

It was in 1992 that Roland Mahauden replaced his mentor Roger Domani. At the helm of the pocket now, it gives him an artistic direction even more marked by society. As a man of commitment, he participates in the creation of "Article 27", a project that aims to guarantee access to culture for the most needy. From 2004, in parallel with the artistic management of the theater, he reconnected with the DRC and launched or supported numerous awareness initiatives through art: the issue of child soldiers, for example. Godfather of a theatrical troupe in Kisangani, he regularly organizes technical and artistic training.

The intuition of a pirate

Retired in 2013 (Olivier Coyette briefly succeeds him, prior to Olivier Blin's nomination in 2016), Roland Mahauden maintains tight pocket connections, overseeing North-South projects.

Formed by Roland Mahauden since the 1990s, Olivier Blin, now pocket director, greets more than a master: a father. "Your practiceshe writes were those of pirates and corsairs. Of the intuition, nothing more than intuition, that made of him a true creator of tubes: Vaginal Monologues Eve Ensler, Trainspotting Irvine WelshThe bird colonel of Hristo Boychev. " A tribute to read in a high degree below.

He died in his sleep on Friday morning, Roland Mahauden was the father of three children: Ulysses, Igor and Clovis. His funeral will be held on Thursday, November 15 at 11am at the Uccle crematorium.

The homage of Olivier Blin to Roland Mahauden

Roland Mahauden is gone. The old fox died.

He left this morning while he lived. Right and dignified. Like the strong man he was. Quietly and surrounded by his family.

With Mahauden's death, it's time to leave. Roland marked the Théâtre de Poche, which he directed for more than 20 years, his tremendous humanity and, finally, a certain romanticism. His practices were pirates and corsairs. Of intuition, nothing more than intuition, which made him a true producer of valves: "Monologues du Vagin" by Eve Ensler, "Transpotting" by Irvine Welsh, "Colonel Oiseau" by Hristo Boytchev … These teams were sometimes composed of broken jaws; travelers, refugees, alcoholics, addicts, foreigners to whom he offered his theater, his festivals and his house. And the pocket bar, which lives in all colors, and which he himself built with his own hands, with cobblestones borrowed from the city of Brussels.

Where we, theater directors of today, claim degrees in theater or cultural management; he was at work, in turn, para-commando instructor, iconoclastic, director, stuntman, ballet organizer, eternal traveler. A journey that gave him a tremendous singularity – even a poetic state – that I admired. A personality who has assumed very progressive positions in the theater on a number of social issues: legalization of cannabis, artistic cooperation, the right to die in dignity, equality between men, refugees, emancipation of all kinds, struggle against fanaticism and obscurantism, openness of culture for all …

Mahauden was one of those guys who liked to get their hands on the grease. In Brussels, but also in Palestine and particularly in Congo. His involvement with artists in the DRC was in his image; all, idealistic and courageous. And faithful. He who has never stopped creating decentralized Congolese shows into the chaotic East Congo. And notably "broken glass" by Alain Mabanckou, "The Sound of Breaking Bones" by Suzanne Lebeau, "Shedding" by David Illunga who has just been awarded the Critics' Prize …

Personally, I met him at the age of twenty-four. I have 50 today. Rather than on the question of the theater, Mahauden opened the eyes of the world to me at this moment; and as such he enjoyed living it as a father. Like the team at Théâtre de Poche, with whom we drank heavily yesterday in his honor, I regret a member of my family.

So good, old road. And by baggage, I still receive my admiration, my love, my friendship.

And my tenderness for your children, for your family.

Olivier Blin, director of the Théâtre de Poche


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