"And we continue, in our ignorance of ourselves and of others, to cheerfully get along with each other, to spin in dance or to chat peacefully with one another –human, futile, at serious play to the sound of the great orchestra of the stars, under the scornful and inattentive eye of the performance’s directors."
- Fernando Pessoa (Bernardo Soares), Book of Disquiet


A disquieting story of misunderstandings.

A trip to the end of the night, in a restaurant located outside of space and time, where lonely individuals come together to attempt to speak the unspeakable. A disquieting story of misunderstandings. A somber feast where encounters are made and unmade to the rhythm of the music.

Following the “Poetics of the Voice and Sound Spaces” project, this second piece continues its exploration of choral work and musicality as a structuring principle of dramaturgy and the basis for the actor’s work on stage.

As a catalyst for this show we chose Fernando Pessoa’s great literary work The Book of Disquiet: a collection of nonlinear and asymmetrical texts that can be picked up at any point and interpreted infinitely.

Rather than simply adapting it to the stage, we use it as a contrapuntal impulse, a impetus for music in the broadest sense.

Intranquillité is a weft of voices (spoken, sung, improvised), images and movements brought into play literally and figuratively. Nineteen performers, seven musicians and a hundred guests are interchangeably actors and spectators of this existential drama.


From the Book of Disquiet (Livro do Desassossego), written by Bernardo Soares, heteronym of Fernando Pessoa

Translation, concept, staging, musical direction and sets: Marcus Borja
Assistant director: Jean Massé
Artistic collaboration (first version): Tristan Rothhut
Sets and costumes: Charles Chauvet
Lights: Gabriele Smiriglia
Voice coaching: Sylvie Deguy
Body preparation: Vahram Zaryan
Costumer assistant: Mathieu Mistler
Stage manager: Simon Fritschi

Marcus Borja, Sophie Canet, Michèle Frontil, François Gardeil, Lucas Gonzalez, Lola Gutierrez, Jean Hostache, Hypo, Magdalena Ioannidi, Matilda Kime, Cyrille Laïk, Esther Marty Kouyaté, Laurence Masliah, Jean-Max Mayer, Romane Meutelet, Rolando Octavio, Mica Smadja, Bernardo Soares, Isabelle Toros, Sophie Zafari and Vahram Zaryan

And the musicians
Georgina Aguerre, Pierre-Marie Braye-Weppe, Osvaldo Caló, Ignacio Ferrera, Xavier Leloux, Jean-Philippe Naeder and Pablo Nemirovsky

Special thanks to
Tristan Rothhut, Claire Lasne-Darcueil, Vincent Détraz, Jean-François Dusigne, Aline Jones-Gorlin, Sylvie Cohen-Solal, Clément Peltier, Aurore Soudieux, Maria Clara Ferrer, La Comédie Française, La Voix du Griot and the whole team of the Théâtre de la Cité internationale

© Photo credit: Yuanye Lu


Borja has perfectly understood that metaphysical reflections on the vanity of the cosmos can be, as in life, interspersed with mundane conflicts of daily life, and that Pessoa brings together the absolute, in which he believes very little, and the relative, which seems essential to him. [...] This theatrical composition is undoubtedly a piece of theater but also a piece of music. It reveals itself clearly as the only manifestation possible on stage of such a unique bit of writing as are practically all of Pessoa’s works.

François RegnaultDramaturge

You are entering into the Disquiet. A cabaret as big as the world. It is the world. A meeting place where people come together to experience the present. Woman-man, man-man and woman-woman. They approach one another, before moving away – you too will be drawn in. You can stand up and join in, becoming one of those bodies, so close to one another, even by remaining seated at your table, flabbergasted. [...] You will leave the theater forever disquieted, and yet with a deep sense of peace. This show will haunt you like a lost memory, as if it had been part of your real life – and even more strongly, of course, because it comes with all the dreamlike dimension of theater and, above all perhaps, with the radiating presence of desire in your heart: a moment equal in strength to your most powerful life experiences.

Joseph DananPlaywright, dramaturge and professor