"Fauves", written and directed by Wajdi Mouawad
National Theater of the Hill, Paris
Wajdi Mouawad did not get the audience used to being short. Like many of his shows, Fauves, his last creation, lasts 4 hours (intermission included). Yes All birds passed like a flapping of wings, lengths, this time, are felt. Not that the piece lacks rhythm – quite the contrary. Everything goes fast, so fast that the viewer sometimes has to cling to follow the unbroken thread of revelations. A feeling reinforced by the frenetic music of Pawel Mykietyn, and the ever-changing scenography of Emmanuel Clolus, a long-time collaborator of the playwright.
Wajdi Mouawad: "The theater is a form of attack"
This perpetual move follows the ramifications of a complex plot. The first ten minutes of the show set the tone: Hippolyte Dombre (comedian Jérôme Kircher), character filmmaker, discovers that his mother, just missing, was married simultaneously to two men. It's not nothing. He also learns that the man who raised him is not his father. That's not all. His real parent, informs the notary in charge of the estate, lives in Quebec and is called Isaac of Providence. This is just the beginning…
It is precisely around this, providence, that is articulated Fauves. The play embraces the tragedy of a family, exploring how secrets, silence, wounds are transmitted from generation to generation, poisoning the future. Another name for destiny, an eminently theatrical motif that has nourished ancient poets, a source of major inspiration for the director. Like Greek heroes, his characters struggle to tame their existence. In vain. Passionate crimes, betrayals, rapes and incest are repeated … And the more they struggle, the more they sink, condemned, like Oedipus, to be wrong.
"Inflammation of the verb live" by Wajdi Mouawad, come back to life by tragedy
To want to prove it too, Fauves is not the expected masterpiece. This is despite the quality of most comedians – in particular Hugues Frenette, Hippolyte's trainee-half-brother, who will prove to be one of the most endearing characters. Remain the admirable ambition of Wajdi Mouawad, his excess in all, this creative madness that transpires on stage. Here is an artist who does not forbid anything, not even conquer space.
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