In the run-up to the European elections, Bernard-Henri Lévy conducted a months-long campaign for Europe, performing his play Looking for Europe in 22 European cities between March and May. Inspired by Hotel Europe, which he had revived in London and New York in 2018, the work is a monologue. More precisely, it is the inner monologue of a French writer who might be the author’s brother. He is holed up in a hotel room to prepare a major speech on Europe, which he is supposed to deliver in two hours. As the clock ticks, the author’s ideas, even his very purpose, begin to slip through his fingers until, in the final act, he has a brilliant idea that gives him a measure of hope. Performances were given in French or English, with electronic supertitles in the language of the host country. Appearing with the writer on stage or in video backdrops are actors, political or moral leaders, and local figures, both famous and obscure. These appearances enable the script to confront the questions posed by the European project across the continent. The script was adapted, reframed, and rewritten for each performance so as to deal with current issues in that country or city.
On November 13, 2019, Lévy’s book, L’Empire et les Cinq Rois, appeared in paperback from Livre de Poche. The English edition of the book, The Empire and the Five Kings was published in February by Henry Holt (New York).