LA MAUVAISE TETE THEATER: A MAN A CHAIR
An abstract play that was an immediate hit, it takes us, without any transition, from nostalgia to laughter, from the contemporary to burlesque, from violence to the absurd. Dance and theater taken to their extreme limits, and coming ever so close to crossing the thin line separating the profound from the ridiculous, this performance for both the eye and the ear tries to rediscover the emotions we all share, by way of a simple idea.
By Fabrice Andrivon, stage director
Living with an idea that I had in mind for quite some time, I sent the following lines to a hundred people carefully chosen among those we crossed aths with during our peregrinations.
A MAN/A CHAIR
What does this make you think of? Would you be able to send me, in whatever form you choose, an immediate reaction to this question? You can send me one simple sentence, something a bit longer, a sketch, a joke, a word, a drawing, a musical note, a passage found somewhere or anything else at all. It can be long, short, symbolic, realistic, idiotic, abstract, bizarre, vulgar . . . anything you like. Once all these reactions were brought together, we tried to to see how these emotions could be done on stage. And we came to find five different groups, which to me seem to suggest a common emotional foundation, a kind of culture shared by all. This piece will talk about (always with the light touch) the automobile, the bourgeoisie, laughter, solitude, the absence of love, culture, memory, suffering, childhood. The many things in life in which we can all recognize ourselves.
The stage set should be as simple as possible: a man, a chair. Nothing else. An actor at the ready to respond to the “commissioned” requests of our authors, ready to dance a tango, to cry out his pain, to evoke personal memories, to cry over some distress. . . . A stage set that keeps something back rather than revealing all, showing rather than explaining, playing upon the disjointed tone, respecting the intentions of the 80 people who responded. . . Lighting which can handle all of that, and which is quite simple, something between the gloaming in which the electric chair is situated and the luminous radiance of the chairs in the Luxembourg Gardens. . . . An image from which EVERYTHING becomes possible.
The Mauvaise Tete Theater was founded in 1975. It received a second wind in 1991 with the arrival of young actors trained at the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. Production after production, the company has dealt with diverse settings, staging both classics (by Voltaire, Queneau, and Molière) and contemporary works (by Visniec, Pratt, and Escudié)
After various workshops and internships and training with the National Conservatory in Clermont-Ferrand, he took over the Company of the Theater of the Mauvaise Tete in 1991. Doing the programming as well as teaching and acting, he has performed in every one of TMT’s productions for the past 12 years, across France, in England, and in Romania.
Visit their Web site: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/tmt