July 25, 2024

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There was a good English accent at the Avignon festival

There was a good English accent at the Avignon festival

As soon as he took the helm of the Festival d’Avignon, its new director, Diego Rodríguez, announced that it would happen. “A festival in France but a festival in the world.” And he likes to call in a different language every year “Give access to the ideas of the protagonists and the creation of countries that speak this language.

This year, it’s a contemporary English creation. An invention accessible to all through surtitles. Here are three examples seen at the festival.

First of all Confessions Among these English directors, 37-year-old Alexandre Seldin, an assistant to Peter Brook, is the most Francophile and is an associate artist at the Odeon in Paris and the National Theater in London.

His works understand reality in a hyperrealist aesthetic that hits the mark.

Confessions The story of Alice, the mother of Alexander Seldin, who makes fascinating and explains the lives of many women.

We have been traveling through this life since her birth in Australia in 1943. We follow her through the many stages of her presence in the theater of everyday life, sometimes in fantastical settings reminiscent of Hockney’s paintings.

Coming from a working-class background, with a penchant for literature, he failed at university. She marries a violent and psychotic soldier and leaves him to join the arts. But there too she was raped thinking she was a friend. She later flees to Europe, to London, where she finally finds meaning in her life and a “good” man, with whom she has two sons, including Alexander.

Confession of Alexander Zeldin ©Photo: Christophe Raynaud de Lage

One can blame The Confessions Its classic because it is a linear, narrative theater, a biography. But Zeldin makes it a wonderful and universal thing: How are we? How should a son respect his mother’s life? And Confessions Played by an exceptional cast who pass the show’s 2h30 running time without getting bored. It is the amazing Erin Jean Norville who includes Alice in a group that makes people love the English language.

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Confessions The story of a brave search for happiness, the story of a woman whose heart is torn by scars and pastures, but manages to find her way and become a true heroine of everyday life.

His show comes to co-producer Théâtre de Liège from November 15 to 18.

Avignon Festival: “Cecil” Like Wildfire

Towards madness

with radical change All of themPresented in Avignon and premiered in Royal Court Theatre London, the bastion of theatrical avant-garde and contemporary writing. It’s a sequence of three monologues by Alistair McDowell, born in 1987, a star of New English drama inspired in his youthful heritage by Beckett, Pinter and Sarah Kane.

A contemporary play that plays on language, where the story explodes, fragments, is no longer linear, in favor of a poetic language steeped in fantasy and enchantment, differently expressing joys, pains, melancholy and madness.

Reading these hypnotic texts is a performance. Again, like Zeldin, we find Kate O’Flynn, an amazing actress capable of bringing all these words to life and making us shudder.

In a monologue, she is gripped by schizophrenia, beginning with a stain on the wall and hearing voices within herself, feeling split and multiplied before becoming the wall. In another, she protects her widowed father by hiding under a concrete table in a bombed-out city.

Admittedly, a good knowledge of English helps to immerse oneself well in this wonderful language, but we get caught up in these life stories, which lead us towards a conclusion to real landslides (attitude).

A third example: actor and writer Tim Crouch was invited to Avignon with two very disappointing performances. A fan of conceptual drama, for example Truths A Need a dog kennel, the death of theater after covid and virtual rule. But even this very short show gets boring very quickly, especially if you don’t know enough about Shakespeare references.

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The Confessions, Théâtre de Liège, November 15 to 18