When I was a child from 5 to 10 years old (1948-1953), my mother said I was turbulent; my father, more scientific (general practitioner), used the word intractable; an untamed being, a savage. To put manners on me, he had dug up from old popular wisdom the idea of prison, and therefore of the cupboard. It happened that I was condemned from 3 days to 2 months in a closet, without light (or with light) sparingly, for meals.

In my cupboard, blinded by the dark, I heard the others playing, laughing with joy. I said to myself: me too, at the end of my punishment, I will play with pleasure.

30 years later, I professed that pleasure led the dance of acting in theatre, and the complicity. They ask me where I found this. I said in a cupboard.

They told me that no other theatre school in the world has ever said a thing about the pleasure of acting. I said I didn’t care. I added that me and my cupboard we had some remarkable moments, and that if no theatre text mentions the possibility of imagining flamboyant games in the dark that no theatre text has mentioned, once again, I don’t care.


by Philippe Gaulier