May 2023



  • Based by L'Œuvre au noir by Marguerite Yourcenar
  • Adaptation and direction Michael De Cock
  • Sala Petita
  • 11/05/2023 al 04/06/2023

An ambitious, poètic, philosophical text of life, humanity and freedom

We are in 16th century Flanders and we accompany Zenon, a doctor and alchemist, in the final years of his life. L’alquimista is an adaptation of the novel by Marguerite Yourcenar L'Œuvre au noir (© Gallimard), which recreates a Europe halfway between the darkness of the Middle Ages and the light of the Renaissance. A world that we see as almost dystopian while exploring issues in an almost visionary way.


L'Œuvre au noir is a fascinating historical novel by Marguerite Yourcenar on humanity and freedom. An historical novel that takes place in Europe in the middle of a war and in a deep moment of crisis and transition. It’s a mind-blowing, poetic, philosophical and a vertiginous journey through time and our continent. There are so many echo’s from today.

I love Yourcenar’s writing. It’s radical in every way. Its brilliant and demanding. And most of all: It offers -because of its stucture- many opportunities for the stage. I’m really excited to create the story of the alchemist Zenon in Teatre Nacional de Catalunya.

We have a wonderful team, with people from Belgium, France and Catalunya… It's an interesting European collaboration, a true obra de teatre in every meaning of the word, where so many languages come together and make each other stronger. L’alquimista is a (hist)story of (another) Europe, dreaming and reflecting a more united, human and free future.

Michael De Cock

Production team

Based by L'Œuvre au noir by Marguerite Yourcenar
Adaptation and direction
Michael De Cock
Translated by
Sergi Belbel
Babou Cham, Francesc Garrido, Anna Moliner, Arnau Ramos Puigdellívol, Teresa Urroz, David Vert
  • + Information
    Assistant director
    Ester Nadal

    Set and costume design
    Marie Szersnovicz

    Sylvia Kuchinow

    Sound design
    Roc Mateu

    Nuria Legarda

    Francesc Isern

    Costume assistant
    Nina Lopez - Le Galliard

    Stage assistant
    Sergi Corbera Gaju
    Musical dramaturgy
    Alain Franco

    Musical direction and musician
    Jurgen De bruyn

    Imma Capell

    Construction of stage
    Pascualin Estructures Stage Tecnology
    Taller Jorba Miró
    Christian Saavedra
    NTI, S.L.

    Costume making
    Carlota Ricart
    Goretti Puente

    Costume painting and finishing
    Xevi Oró
    Marta Pell

    Construction and filming assistance projections
    Taller d'escenografia Castells

    Damià Haro
    Teatre Nacional de Catalunya

    With the co-production of
    KVS from Brussels

    In order to recreate the streets of Brugge in the 16th century, the scenography of this show was designed so that water played a predominant role. Due to ecological responsibility, TNC's commitment to the sustainability and because of the drought we are suffering, we have decided not to fill the stage floor with water and replace its poetic effect with video and smoke. However, and to contribute to the narrative of the play, it has been inevitable to use a minimum quantity of water, which is recycled and reused every day for other uses.