Les Gens légers - Jean Cagnard


77 pages


Les Gens légers

Jean Cagnard | 2003 | France
Petite Fille, Petit Tas de Cendre, Lluc Recatan, Femme, Homme à la manivelle, Le Père, La Mère, Le Fils, La Grande-mère
Number of acts

Les Gens légers was commissioned by the Arkétal company for a play about the Shoah. The text, published by Espace 34, also published in Les Carnets de la marionnette by Themaa-Théâtrales in 2004. The play was selected for a reading by the Comité de lecture of the Comédie-Française in Paris and included in the Comédie-Française repertoire in 2009.

Plot summary

A little girl in the Holocaust

Through various scenes that follow one another without necessarily being linked, The text evokes the deportation of Jews to the concentration camps through a poetic diversions. The common thread running through the entire play is the character of the little girl, about seven years old, who meets different characters, human or not: a Man who shrinks the sky, a Little Pile of Ashes, a Train, a Chimney. Each character appears as a metaphor charged with meaning, first and foremost the Little Pile of Ashes, which materializes in a macabre and at the same time "light" way the ashes of the victims burned in the ovens. At the end of the play, the little girl, who has lost both her innocence and her life force, also disappears, swallowed up by the little pile of ashes.

Composition date

First performance

Cannes, France, 16/10/2003 -

Les gens légers was created on 16 October 2003 at the Théâtre de La Licorne in Cannes, directed by Stéphane Bault, with Marion Duquesne, David Maisse, Sylvie Osman and Anne Rejony.

Publications and translations


Jean Cagnard, Les Gens légers. Paris: éditions Espace 34, 2019.

Literary tones
Pathetic, Lyrical
Animations techniques
Actor and puppet
Not specified


Theatrical techniques


Written by

Francesca Di Fazio