Proust 1: De kant van Swann – Swann’s Way

In Search of Lost Time
based on “A la recherche du temps perdu” by Marcel Proust
Adapted by Guy Cassiers, Erwin Jans, Eric de Kuyper
Translated by Céline Linssen

Guy Cassiers / ro theater (Rotterdam)

Proust 1: De kant van Swann - Swann's Way

Proust 1: De kant van Swann - Swann's Way

© Pan Sok

  • 2 h 35 min, one interval
  • In Dutch with German simultaneous translation

Past Dates

Talk with the audience on 12 November at 18:30

The first episode tells the story of young Marcel’s life in Combray and his relationship with three women in his youth: his mother, his childhood sweetheart, Gilberte, and Odette Swann, Gilberte’s mother and Charles Swann’s wife. The three women represent consecutive stages of sexuality in young Marcel. In contrast there is the story of the history of adult love between Swann and Odette: a great passion that changes into jealous agony and ends in indifference. Swann and Odette’s story is a model for the development of many other Proustian histories of love.

The four-part theatre cycle “In search of lost time”, based on Marcel Proust’s masterpiece is a grand and multifaceted project: the director Guy Cassiers has been working on this project for three seasons at the ro theatre.

“In search of lost time” is the story of the initiation of a young man, Marcel, into the world of love, aristocracy and the arts. It can be called a panoramic time document for the last decades of the nineteenth and the first decades of the twentieth century, a period in which more changes took place than had done since the beginning of Christian times.

For Guy Cassiers, the central theme is ‘the functioning of the imagination’, as defined by Proust in his novel in minute detail. In keeping with his previous stagings, Guy Cassiers works in a multimedial way here too: actors, storytelling, live music, video images and text projections represent the many layers in Proust’s rich novel. The inner world created on stage contains a continual blending of past and present, and imagination and memories.

“Proust 1: Swann’s Way”, “Proust 2: Albertine’s Way”, “Proust 3: Charlus’ Way” and “Proust 4: Marcel’s Way” have garnered both critical and public acclaim. All parts of the Proust-cycle are completed stories and can be seen separately.


Directed by Guy Cassiers
Dramaturgy Erwin Jans
Stage Design Marc Warning
Costume Design Valentine Kempynck (BELGAT)
Lighting Design Enrico Bagnoli
Video Concept Marc Warning, Kantoor voor Bewegend Beeld (Eelko Ferwerda, Jasper Wessels)
Video Kantoor voor Bewegend Beeld
Translations and Dubbing Michael Müller-Engelhardt

With Jacqueline Blom, Marc De Corte, Herman Gilis, Marlies Heuer, Joop Keesmaat, Paul R. Kooij, Eelco Smits, Fania Sorel and the Kryptos Kwartet