Five Kings: L'histoire de notre chute

There are five of them. They succeed one another, detest one other, love and betray each other, and share the same blood. They have risen from the mists of time, yet remain quite contemporary. They spend their lives waiting to be at the top, but once they reach the summit their downfall begins.


Richard II, Henri IV, Henri V, Henri VI and Richard III are the component elements of Shakespeare’s “cycle of kings” that inspired Orson Welles to cobble together a patchwork collage in 1939 entitled Five Kings. Fascinated by this epic enterprise, Patrice Dubois, Martin Labrecque, Olivier Kemeid and Frédéric Dubois decided to appropriate these five Shakespearean kings and explore the reality of Francophones living in America. In Five Kings: l’histoire de notre chute, the writer Olivier Kemeid and the director Frédéric Dubois transport these kings from the Middle Ages to the heart of our recent political and social history. From 1960 to 2015 five decades unfolded in a dizzying crescendo of power struggles and factional strife, reflecting our own downfalls.


Presented at the NAC Theatre on November 19 and 20 at 6:30 p.m. and November 21 and 22 at 1:30 p.m.


Five Kings is an assembling of eight plays: Richard II, Henry IV (parts 1 and 2), Henry V, Henry VI (parts 1, 2 and 3) and Richard III, which have a total of 256 characters. Olivier Kemeid’s version consists of 34 characters performed by 13 actors and concentrates on the strength of family ties. The script remains very much on a human scale and the tone is political, social, theatrical and fully engaged in modernity.


Part 1

Le roi de neige, Richard Plantagenêt (55 minutes)

5-minute break – the audience is asked to remain in the theatre


Part 2

Le roi de feu, Henry Lancaster (90 minutes)

20-minute intermission


Part 3

Le roi de sable, Harry Lancaster Jr. (75 minutes)

5-minute break – the audience is asked to remain in the theatre


Part 4

Le roi de sang, Richard York (45 minutes)



This powerful piece gives us Shakespeare as he has always been – a poet of our times. 

Mario Cloutier, La Presse


The performance is presented with real panache, notably thanks to an excellent cast that at times is hilarious (Jean Marc Dalpé as Falstaff is irresistible), at other times fittingly icy (brilliant portrayal by Patrice Dubois of Richard York).

Daphné Bathalon,

Shakespearean plays adapted by: Olivier Kemeid // directed by: Frédéric Dubois // with: Olivier Coyette, Jean Marc Dalpé, Patrice Dubois, Hugues Frenette, Jonathan Gagnon, Gauthier Jansen, Park Krausen, Louise Laprade, Marie-Laurence Moreau, Étienne Pilon, Isabelle Roy, Vlace Samar and Emmanuel Schwartz // artistic director: Patrice Dubois // Lighting and stage environment: Martin Labrecque // assistant director and stage manager: Stéphanie Capistran-Lalonde // costumes and artistic accomplice: Romain Fabre // original music: Nicolas Basque and Philippe Brault // video design: Silent Partners // illustration of video images: Lino // assistant lighting designer and stage manager: Marie-Aube St-Amand Duplessis // movement coach: Estelle Clareton // props: Fanny Denault // makeup and wigs: Sylvie Rolland-Provost // assistant costume designer: Chantal Bachand // artistic accomplices: Olivier Coyette, Brigitte Haentjens, Catherine La Frenière and Claude Poissant


Produced by: Théâtre PÀP, Théâtre des fonds de tirroirs and Trois tristes tigres

Co-produced by: NAC Théâtre français and Théâtre de poche in Brussels

Note – The performance is 5 hours long (including intermission and two short pauses). Spectators can purchase sandwiches, salads and desserts at the Entracte bar, and for this show only, food and drinks may be consumed in the theatre following intermission.

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