The performance takes place on an open stage with empty bleachers on one side facing the audience. MOMO’s, an actual food truck, is installed to the left of the bleachers throughout the show. A few white plastic chairs between the bleachers and MOMO’s and a Lens Racing Club Red and Gold flag hangs off the bleachers to complete the set. There is also a large screen over the bleachers on which a number of videos and texts are projected during the performance. Stadium opens with a lone trumpet player on stage playing the fanfare familiar to audiences at the Avignon Arts Festival followed by the popular music played at corridas and soccer games as the audience joins in with a chorus of “Olé Olé.”
Participants (inhabitants of Lens, Riaumont, and Grenay)
Georges Devaux, known as Monsieur Drapeau, who waves a magnificent flag made by his mother, accompanied by Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus Cum dederit.
Clémentine Devaux, Monsieur Drapeau’s daughter
Corinne Dadat, a janitor at a school in Bourges with whom Mohamed wrote a play that has been performed throughout France
Yvette Dupuis (eighty-seven years old) seen on stage and on videos, with her entire family (staunch fans of the LRC), Claire, Dorothée, and many others
The Lens Racing Club Mascot, Eric Domeneghetti, a former dancer
Christian Champiré, Communist Mayor of Grenay, a nearby town
Father Argouac’h, the parish priest of Riaumont, a nearby town
Jonathan Pessimiste, President of the Red Tigers and Capo at the Marek stand at the Bollaert Stadium, Lens
Ludovic Nanzioli, an Ultra and President of the Red and Gold Kop group (KSO)
Jean-Claude Oudoul, former referee to the Premier League
Valentin, a young man from Lens
Mohamed El Khatib, the author, present throughout the ninety-minute show, urging the participants on and improvising with some of them [End Page 101]
(A series of videos of Lens Racing Club fans and others interviewed by Mohamed between 2015 and 2017 are projected on the screen above the bleachers.)
My name’s Alain. I’m here to support Nimes against Lens at the Bollaert Stadium this evening. I’m sort of on my own since the League won’t let fans travel in groups. Going to Lens is like a mythical journey for us. It’s always been a respected club so when we come to Lens it’s a little like a pilgrimage.
Mickael Lesage, forty-one years old. I’m a big-league referee so I officiate at the Premier League. I prefer to be a referee in the Premier League but when it’s my turn to officiate at League 2, I’ll go to Lens because it’s a real show. The match might be a bummer. Lens Red Star wasn’t too great but the show and the atmosphere are fantastic. You get really emotional when you’re there. Lens is the only stadium where I try to go in a minute before the game, when they’re all singing. I’m not a fan of Bachelet but when I see them all standing up singing with their hands on their hearts, that really gets me. Even us referees . . . it’s . . . well, I like it.
A video of a small band playing followed by scenes of a Lens Racing Club match.
The title “Champions of France,” of course. I think that was probably the day that had the most impact on me. It was . . . not sure how to say it. Well . . . it was fantastic. No, it is . . . When I looked at the TV images the next day, especially on TeleFoot, and even when I see them today . . . it’s . . . Wow . . . I get goose bumps.
When I saw the mid-fielder “little” Yoann Lachor make that goal . . . At the very end of the...