Metamorphoses #2, Essia Jaïbi. Photo: © PolGuillard

Metamorphoses #2 by Essia Jaibi


As the daughter of actor and playwright Jalila Baccar and director Fadhel Jaïbi, theatre was at the centre of Essia Jaïbi’s childhood experience. As a young child, she was fascinated and puzzled by her mother’s transformations on stage. Once at the age of four, when she saw Baccar play an 80-year-old, Jaïbi was struck with such fear that she was filled with a desire to escape the theatre.

In Metamorphoses #2, co-written and performed with Baccar, Jaïbi revisits the memories seared into her mind since childhood. She locks up her mother in a glass cage that looks like a backstage dressing room in an imagined theatre—and pressures her to address the audience.

Devised as a confrontation between two generations, the conversation between mother and daughter about art, theatre and cultural activism evolves into a critique of Tunisia’s political, cultural, economic, environmental and healthcare systems as well as the rights of minorities and the disabled in the country.