Matéi Visniec


or There's Too Many People on this Damn Boat

They come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Al Jaza'ir, Somalia, Hagere Ertra, Iraq, Libiyah, Al Maghrib, Haiti and many other countries where life is no longer compatible with the idea of future. There are millions of them. How many millions? We don’t know.  They are called “migrants” and have only one obsession: to reach Europe.

Europe has panicked for the last years. The responsible politicians and the public opinion understood that there are about 80 million people who live in war zones and have in fact the right to ask for international protection, i.e. political asylum in Europe. The borders started to close, barbed wire appeared. Europe doesn’t come to terms with the situation, instead it seems to give in to the temptation of giving up its values. It is a human tragedy happening in front of our eyes.

This play has thus at least one major target: to destroy indifference.


In his newest piece, Matéi Visniec focuses on one of the biggest questions of the beginning of the 21st century: the migrants. Who are no longer, as he points out in his text, either immigrants or emigrants.

Removing the prefix of these words also means to include the population movement within the vast accelerating globalization. That is the lesson given by the politician’s coach, who helps prepare for a speech. But inclusion doesn’t mean that they are accepted. Consumer goods circulate freely, but not people. In order to reach Europe, they have to suffer the worst. Being thrown into the sea when the boat is too heavy. To sell a kidney or the cornea so that they can afford a safer journey. - Jan-Cyril Salemi


„Migraaaaants!“ is a black comedy about one of the worst tragedies of our time. Sarcastic and unsettling, Visniec’s Drama encaptures all of us. - La Stampa, Italien


German translation: Jan Cornelius

Matéi Visniec

Matéi Visniec, born 1956 in Rădăuţi, Romania, studied history and philosophy at the University of Bucharest. In 1987, during the communist dictatorship, he fled to France. Since then he's lived in Paris as a playwright and novelist, also working as a journalist for Radio France Inter. Visniec has written over 40 plays, which have been performed in thirty countries, for instance in the Royal Theatre/Stockholm, Maxim-Gorki-Theater/Berlin, Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf, Théâtre de la Veillée de Montréal, Kaze-Theatre/Tokyo, Open Fist  Theatre Company/Hollywood, Stary-Theatre/Warschau, Piccolo-Theatre/Mailand. He is also one of the most popular authors at the popular Festivals de Théâtre d'Avignon. Since the end of the dictatorship in Romania, Matéi Visniec is one of the most widely performed playwrights there. 

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