manon and jean de florette

(marcel pagnol)


Translation and adaptation of Marel Pagnol's 1952 film scenario 'Manon des sources' and of 'L'eau des collines', the novel he wrote ten years later which recounts the same story.
Comp.Marius performs the two parts together: a Provencal version of 'Crime and punishment' in the open air, with rabbit and prunes served in the interval.

On the repertoire since 2006.

Premiere Dutch version: July 2006, Zomer Van Antwerpen, Antwerp (BE)
Premiere French version: May 2007, Théâtre de l'Olivier, Istres (FR)

The text

Over the years Waas Gramser and Kris Van Trier have already adapted three plays by the French author Marcel Pagnol (1895-1974), which have all been performed in the open air: 'Marius' (1999), 'Nagras' (2000) and 'Fanny and César' (2001). Now, five years later, they are rounding off their Pagnol series with an adaptation of his masterpiece, the story of Manon des Sources and Jean de Florette.

Comp.Marius has translated and adapted two pieces of writing: the 1952 film scenario of 'Manon des Sources' and the 1962 double novel 'L’eau des collines'. Ten years after the film, Marcel Pagnol wrote the novel version of 'Manon des Sources' and the story that precedes it, the story of Jean de Florette.

The story became internationally renowned: Jean inherits an old farm from his mother, Florette. Together with his daughter Manon and his wife, the opera singer Aimée, he leaves the city and settles in the countryside to start a new life as a farmer. Just before they arrive, the spring on their land is closed off with cement by two villagers, the backward Ugolin and his uncle ‘Papet’. They want to drive Jean away as soon as possible so they themselves can cultivate carnations on the land. The lack of water ultimately leads to Jean’s death. The people of the village and the audience look on, but they say nothing, because if there is one rule that everyone respects, it is that one does not interfere in other people’s business, especially not when it’s a ‘stranger’. Provence, in 1960s France, transferred effortlessly to 2017.


'Manon and Jean de Florette' is performed in the open air, in one of the last pieces of unspoiled natural landscape. Twenty church pews are arranged in rows with St Dominicus at their head; this is where the audience is received. A semicircular wooden seating stand is set up in the middle of the field; a few bits of scenery have been added.

The two parts are performed in a single afternoon or evening so as to retain the long timespan of this family epic. Six actors play seventeen parts and also take care of the set changes. The story is told with a minimum of resources. The focus is on the play and the acting; the location provides a ‘natural setting’.

Each part lasts about 100 minutes and is divided in two by an interval when the audience is treated to a pastis or grenadine. Comp.Marius offers the option of serving rabbit with prunes to the audience during the interval, with the pans on the table and the bread to be broken by hand. This collective meal adds something to the performance, but requires an extra technical, practical and financial effort from the organiser. At the end of the performance the mayor in any case offers everyone a drink and the audience can talk to the actors on stage.

Comp.Marius prefers to perform this play in daylight. If it is in the evening, the company asks that the starting time be set well before sunset and the end by 11 pm at the latest. Especially in remote locations and in colder periods.

The play can be performed in Dutch or French.



Translation and adaptation: Waas Gramser, Kris Van Trier
French translation: Monique Nagielkopf
Actors: Waas Gramser, Kris Van Trier, Yves Degryse/Mathijs Scheepers/Dries De Sutter, Koen Van Impe/Bert Haelvoet, Kyoko Scholiers/Eline Kuppens/Maaike Neuville, Frank Dierens
Costumes: Thijsje Strypens
Set and technical work: Koen Schetske, Bram Verhagen, Stevie Van Haver
Kitchen supervised by Koen Roggen
Coproduction: Comp.Marius in conjunction with Zomer Van Antwerpen 2006
With thanks to the Flemish Literature Fund (Vlaams fonds der Letteren)




















  • 28  Twello (NL)
  • 27  Twello (NL)