Main stage Guest

I remember Heaven is far away the Earth as well

Compagnie 111 – Aurélien Bory, France
01 h 15 m
Visual theatre

I remember Heaven is far away the Earth as well

Aurélien Bory / Mladen Materic

Visual theatre 



Aurélien Bory, Haris (Haka) Resic, Jelena Covic, Mickael Godbille

Design, scenography, direction:

Aurélien Bory, Mladen Materic

Music Composition:

Joan Cambon

Light Design:

Arno Veyrat

Set Technical Conception: 

Pierre Dequivre

Set construction:

Pierre Pailles, Jérémy Sanfourche, Olivier Jeannoutot


Isadora De Ratuld


Stéphane Chipeaux-Dardé


Manuela Agnesini

Technical Director and Light Manager:

Thomas Dupeyron

Sound Manager:

Stéphane Ley

Stage Manager:

Mickaël Godbille, Yarol Stuber-Ponsot

Head of Production:

Florence Meurisse

Production Manager:

Clément Séguier-Faucher

Photo credits:

Aglae Bory и Laurent Padiou


Production: Compagnie 111 – Aurélien Bory

Coproduction Théâtre Garonne Scène européenne – Toulouse, Théâtre dela Cité – CDN Toulouse Occitanie, Théâtre-Sénart Scène nationale, La comédie de l’Est – CDN Colmar, CIRCa – Pôle national cirque Auch Gers Occitanie dans le cadre du soutien du FONDOC, Théâtre Tatto

Compagnie 111 – Aurélien Bory is under funding agreement with the Regional Directorate for Cultural Affairs Occitanie / French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Region Occitanie / Pyrénées – Méditerranée and the City council of Toulouse. It is supported by the Departmental Council of the Haute-Garonne and by the French Institute.

The presentation of the performance in Bulgaria is a partnership initiative of “Ivan Vazov” National Theatre and the French Institute of Bulgaria.

The tour is organized with the support of the French Institute in Paris – IF Export, the French Institute in Bulgaria and Teatroskop. 


In 1994, the 22-years old youngster at that time Aurélien Bory happened to visit Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse, where he watched the performance “Heaven is far away the Earth as well” by the Yugoslavian director Mladen Materic. This stage encounter played a key role in his own artistic development as it encouraged him to develop his own distinguishable signature, which combines with ease on the stage theatre, dance, circus and visual arts, smoothly uniting these different art forms into a shared rhythm.  

25 years later, Aurélien Bory embarked on a journey, exploring his memories of this performance, which influenced his oeuvre so strongly, on which he also rediscovers his notions of theatre. Bory also invited Mladen Materic to walk this path together and the result is the captivating visual-poetic performance “I remember Heaven is far away the Earth as well” 

“Aurélien Bory: Heaven is far away the Earth as well was the first show I saw when I arrived in Toulouse.

Mladen Materic: In 1994, Heaven is far away the Earth as well was the Théâtre Tattoo’s second production following its move to the Théâtre Garonne.

A.B: I realised on that very evening that theatre didn’t really exist, that it wasn’t a given form, and that it was possible – or even necessary – to reinvent it.

M.M: Around that time, we had this saying: “theatre doesn’t exist when I’m sleeping”. But that didn’t really simplify anything. “Starting from oneself” is about the hope that if a question concerns you, then it might also concern others. But you can never really be sure. Even less so when you have just left the reality of your former homeland and you have not had enough time to recognise either the iconography or the spirit of your new surroundings. I still remember that two nights before the premier of Heaven is far away the Earth as well I believed, more than I usually did, that it would be a downright catastrophe.

A.B: 25 years have gone by. I know that this show left its mark – a path I wanted to follow by creating my own theatre – but it also left a mark in my memory that I would like to find here, today, once again.

M.M: For me, Heaven was a form of questioning on stage, rather disagreeable but probably very normal when we are in the middle of life (between birth and death, youth and old age, strength and fatigue), of the sensation between what we hoped for in life and what we got, and which has now started to seem definitive…

A.B: I don’t really remember Heaven is far away the Earth as well anymore. Even less so since the scraps that have been left are subject to the unforgiving chemical processes of memory: superposition, substitution, breaking down into pieces, shifts, confusion, blur, deletion…

M.M: One day, I told Aurélien I still had the scenery, the costumes and the accessories.

A.B: I asked Mladen Materic to give me the scenery so I could investigate those wood panels, the doors, the windows, and the furniture, which had spent years in some shadowy corner of a warehouse, and to try to bring back a few memories.

M.M: I immediately agreed that Aurélien should work with the scenery from Heaven is far away the Earth as well. Creating a show based on another show was something that seemed exciting.

A.B: Theatre has its limitations. The most important of these is space, and we have to tackle this with each new production. It represents a sort of palimpsest, as if on the stage, we had to write over the traces of the shows that had preceded us.

M.M: A show, when it is not being performed, is nothing more than a jumble of scenery, costumes and accessories, boxed up, inanimate, like dead bodies. A show, when it is not being performed, is nothing more than a group of actors and technicians scattered around, living their own lives, working their own jobs. Putting on a show again means recreating the relationships between all of these elements. That’s what’s horrible and beautiful in theatre: a show is the fundamentally immaterial relationship between fundamentally material things.

A.B: I would like to literally write over the traces of Heaven is far away the Earth as well, by only concerning myself with the physical trace that the scenery represents.

M.M: Between the bits of scenery, these accessories, these costumes, these sounds, these lights we can recreate the same relationships all while creating new ones.

A.B : And find once more through absence, or by the gap left between the walls, the story of this family, a man, a woman, their children, their parents, and finally realising that this story is also a little bit my own.

M.M: It fits with my memories of the show and of the time, but also with my new situation.

A.B:  Since I am now in the middle,

M.M: Since I am now 25 years further on,

And we have decided to do it together.”

Aurélien Bory – Mladen Materic

September 2018


Aurélien Bory (born in 1972 in Colmar, France) is an author, stage director and artistic director of Compaignie 111.

Aurélien Bory attended Physics courses at the University of Strasbourg. These studies took him to work in the field of Architectural Acoustics. In 1995, he got in the creation studio of the Lido, Centre des arts du cirque in Toulouse. The artist Mladen Materic whom he met at Théâtre Garonne, introduced him to the acting craft. From 1998 to 2000, Bory joined Materic’s theater group, Théâtre Tatoo, as an actor for the play L’Odyssée. 

In 2000, he founded Compagnie 111 in Toulouse. He develops a “physical theatre” singular and hybrid, a crossbreeding of different, converging circus, dance, visual art, and music. Intrigued by the question of space, his composite works that reflect a peculiar aesthetic are driven by sciences, and strongly rely on the scenography. Alternately scenographer, director, choreographer or even plastician, he conceives his artwork as a renewal of itself. 

Bory’s artwork is nurtured by plastic, literary and cinematographic influences as diverse as the writer Heinrich von Kleist and his essay On the Marionette Theatre, the icon of the Bauhaus Oskar Schlemmer or the silent film actor Buster Keaton. His work also draws the lines from some writers such as Georges Perec, enhancing his primitive reflection about space, as developed on his last piece, “Espæce” (2016), created for the 70th edition of Festival d’Avignon. 

His shows tour around the world. This international recognition began with “Plan B” (2003, Théâtre Garonne, Toulouse) and “Plus ou moins l'infini” (More or less infinity, 2005, Théâtre Vidy, Lausanne) cocreated with the New Yorker stage director Phil Soltanoff. These two performances along with IJK (2000, Théâtre de la Digue, Toulouse) constitute the “Trilogy about space”. In 2007, he created “Les Sept Planches de la ruse” (The Seven Boards of Skill) where artists from the Dalian Opera evolve on a giant tangram, then Sans objet in 2009 at Théâtre dela Cité – CDN Toulouse Occitanie with two acrobats and an industrial robot. He created “Géométrie de caoutchouc” in 2011, a play for a big top, at Le Grand T in Nantes. 

In 2008, the performance “Plus ou moins l'infini” was also presented in Bulgaria during the second edition of Sofia Dance Week Festival. In 2009, again as a part of the programme of Sofia Dance Week, the Bulgarian audience had the chance to see another piece by Aurelien Bory – “Erection”, created together with the choreographer Pierre Rigal. 

In 2019, he created “Je me souviens Le Ciel est loin la terre aussi” (I remember Heaven is far away the Earth as well). For this show, he recovers the set of “Heaven is far away the Earth as well”, created by Théâtre Tattoo and from these elements and his memories he created a new piece questioning the traces and the impact of an artwork that have marked us. Aurelien Bory is the lead actor of the show and Mladen Materic signed with him the stage direction and the conception.


Mladen Materic (born in 1953 in Sarajevo, back then Yugoslavia) is a theatre director, founder of Tattoo Theatre. 

Mladen Materic founded his Tattoo Theatre in the early 1980s in Yugoslavia and has written and directed all of its productions ever since. From the beginning, the company's actors and collaborators have been committed to exploring and developing a new theatrical language. Recognizing that the essence of human relationships lies beyond the dimension of words and their meanings, the troupe has made action a core element of its theatrical language. This exploration of the myriad sources that influence and shape our actions and reactions leads to a form in which the variety of elements that make up a theatrical performance are used equally.

Together with other members of the Academy of Performing Arts, Mladen Materic founded a new theatre in 1984, the Obala Open Stage, of which he is the artistic director: a space that arose from the need for artists to have a place to carry out their projects, dedicated to theatre, but in which cinema and music also have a dignified presence. The determination of the artists, despite the sometimes extremely difficult working conditions, made Obala a unique place for creativity in Yugoslavia.

His production “The Dance of the 80s” was presented in 1984 throughout Yugoslavia and was enthusiastically received by audiences and critics alike. The show "Tattoo Theatre", created in 1986, gained international popularity.

In 1992, the company moved to the Garonne Theatre in Toulouse. In 1993, it created "The Festive Day" in collaboration with the Paris Autumn Festival and the Theatre of the Bastille, and in 1995, “Heaven is far away the Earth as well”.

Mladen Materic and Peter Handke's collaborative project "Pourquoi la cuisine?", created in 2001, was a great success and led to an extensive tour, both in France and worldwide, as well as receiving invitations from the most prestigious theatre festivals.



5th and 6th of April 2023 

7 PM, Main Stage, “Ivan Vazov” National Theatre 


Created in 2019, Théâtre Garonne – Toulouse. 

Duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes  

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