Mohamed El Khatib

© Reuters/Russell Cheyne
© Yohanne Lamoulere
In Mohamed El Khatib’s documentary play Stadium, 53 supporters of RC Lens, a football club based in northern France, not only took over the stage but also won over the hearts of French audiences. As a warm-up for the 2018 World Cup, the French playwright creates an adapted version and presents, together with the Wiener Festwochen, a friendly match between France and Austria.
Their love for their club seems limitless, the football clichés countless. In a humorous anthropological analysis of football fandom, Mohamed El Khatib and his collective, Zirlib, examine the myth of the working class, the formation of community and hostility, the complexity of values and the power of this 90-minute ceremony. Chants, dance and videos unite to create various portraits of a crowd in motion. When the “best French fans” meet Austrian football aficionados and Viennese theatre-goers, it becomes clear what it means, despite all the social and cultural differences, to be one audience, one block of spectators!


Vienna Version

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