Wednesday, June 26, 2019
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Theater. A black Sganarelle, a Dom Juan white clown

Limoges (Haute-Vienne), special envoy.

When Dom Juan appears, it's mounted on springs. A white clown, a garish red hair, he defies his world, refuting from the top of his porcelain staircase the diktats of marriage, claiming libertinage as the only compass in his life of seducer, defying death without remorse. But it happens that the clown grimace and pitch when when faced with the eyes and words of young girls that he deceives and abuses shamelessly, the consequence of his actions comes back to him in the face. Sganarelle watches, tries to temper the ardor of the young man, warns, without success. Because it is a Dom Juan on the edge of the precipice that suddenly takes over. He can paw, stamp his impatience, his whims are no longer answered. In a final burst, Dom Juan wants and can compete only with death.

In an almost opera-like setting, a porcelain and tapestry decor in digital point of Aubusson, the director of the Theater Union-CDN du Limousin and his Swiss accomplice Lorenzo Malaguerra imagined this Dom Juan both whimsical and pathetic. Beneath an immense jagged frieze of bright and shimmering colors that cut dark shadows above the figures, at the back of a spiral staircase all in porcelain; to garden, a platform where three musicians-actors under the direction of the composer Jean-Luc Therminarias invite themselves in the sarabande. The characters in the play are interpreted alternately by the 9th class of students of the Academy of the Union-Higher Theater School of Limousin and, in the role of Sganarelle, Steve Tientcheu, which Jean Lambert-wild discovered during from the screening at the Théâtre de l'Union, recently, of Alice Diop's film Death of Danton. The film recounted the obstacle course of this young native of 3000 in Aulnay-sous-Bois, confined to roles of valet by his teacher Simon. This is now his dream of theater finally realized. And his Sganarelle is great, as he manages to slip from one register to the other, standing up to Dom Juan and choosing life when the master chooses death.

There are those who prevent shows from being played. At the Sorbonne recently. Those who sign petitions to be outraged. Let's listen again Achille Mbembe, the other morning on France Culture, in the program of our sister Caroline Broué: "What is at stake in the representation? Who is the voice of whom? How is it that we find ourselves in a society where empathy no longer exists? Asked the eminent historian. France has removed the word race from its Constitution. But racism has a hard life, he added. Jean Lambert-wild has neither glossed over nor theorized. He distributed the role of Sganarelle to a black actor. For his acting qualities. Like other colleagues, TNS in Strasbourg, CDN Rouen or Saint-Etienne.

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