Théâtre 14 invited us this weekend to a musical and theatrical season launch, in the heart of the warm 14 arrondissement. A look back at the festivities as part of the Paris Off Festival.
The shows and events concocted by the theater team all take place outdoors, in the courtyards and pedestrian streets around the theatre. The choice of place is symbolic: people go home, leave, and in the middle of the brick buildings of the 14th, emerge texts, poems, songs, promises of a great cultural season to come.
Opening(s) (Friday, September 2)
It is the company of Ceiling Angels which opens the ball with season 2 of their puppet show The Windows. The place lends itself perfectly: each puppet is posted on one floor of the buildings on rue Paradol. They dominate us and intrigue passers-by. Quarrels between neighbors, political debates, misanthropic characters and personified animals, it is with sarcasm but finesse that the company opens the evening.
From pastiches of radio broadcasts to a rewriting of the fables of the fountain for the defense of animals, the subjects are vast but always treated with lightness and above all with the poetry specific to the company. The comic scenes deal with contemporary subjects (Covid, war, global warming) as much as universal subjects (incommunicability, loneliness), always accompanied by a sound and musical ambition (vocals and cello, also perched on the windows).
More than just a comedy show, The Angels on the Ceiling ends on a high note with the metaphorical and literal injunction ” Don’t give up. Stay free. And don’t forget to open your windows“.
Readings (Friday, September 2)
Lola Chammah and Mathieu Touzé then continued the festivities by reading us two texts of their choice, in connection with their respective shows, which Théâtre 14 will also host this season.
To begin, Mathieu Touzé reads us an extract from horla, by Maupassant. The text, modern, evoked both the anguish of death and madness, two themes that will be found in his new creation. We are not here to disappear (based on the novel by Olivia Rosenthal). In the cool shade of the trees, the theater director takes us on a journey to Normandy, in the disturbing restless nights of the protagonist, prey to his nocturnal terrors, whose dementia still resonates somewhere in us.
For her part, Lolita Chammah offers us a reading of letter to a motherfrom Fydman waiting for his show Visit, scheduled at Théâtre 14 next May. A completely different register, which plunges us on the contrary into the mysteries of childbirth, as the birthplace of 2 lives (that of the child, and that of the mother). The text, although very well read, remains as poetic as it is artificial: childbirth becomes a marvelous moment, mothers become queens and everything sounds false or even essentializing.
A joyful karaoke followed, in which the inhabitants of the 14th arrondissement took part, during which the complete program of the season was announced.
Infinity minus one (Saturday, September 3)
“L’infini minus un”, directed by Luna Murrati from poems by Alicia Gallienne with Elsa Guedj and Adrian Saint-Pol from the Diorama company, offered us 35 minutes of sweetness, daydreaming and reflection.
Gentle, because such are the gestures of the actress and the two artists between them in this staged reading.
Reflection because, to be poetic, the texts of the cousin of Guillaume Gallienne, who died suddenly at the age of 20, are no less intelligent, particularly mature for the age of the author.
Reverie, because the interludes – which are not, since they are perfectly integrated into the staging and sometimes mingle with the words – of Adrian Saint-Pol on the transverse flute provide this feeling. From these three talents who dialogue through space and time emerges a great sensitivity; the texts take on a 3rd dimension and the emotion is only increased tenfold.
Anthems in Play (Sunday, September 4)
The Orchestra of the New Theater of Montreuil played this Sunday, September 4 different hymns orchestrated in an original way, accompanied by an actress who always introduces them with humor; the Argentinians and their passion for psychoanalysis, the Scots for rugby…
After the Afghan, Persian, Canadian anthem, the actress announces: “well, obviously, we couldn’t escape it… Bertrand Burgalat stuck to it, as he said, arguing that the grass is not always more green elsewhere. “Special mention for this Marseillaise, therefore, with unexpected harmonies, which allows us to renew our anthem by giving it colors borrowed from several neighbors from different continents. As the historian Michelet said, no history of France without history of the world.
Then comes the German children’s anthem: “Do not spare effort, nor passion, nor spirit”. Each hymn is conducted by a different member of the orchestra.
We end up with Tibet, Madagascar, and finally Burkina Faso, the country of honest men.
Article by Cloé Bouquet and Rachel Rudloff.
Visual: Official Paris Off Festival poster.
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