The Camp of the Unfortunate follows the story of Morgane Poulette, a junkie singer, and Thomas Bernet, a successful soap actor, in a London that fluctuates between glamour and the underbelly. The Londoneris Morgane Poulette's grief after Thomas Bernet's death and the reflection of this grief in London, in a world that is falling apart, where personal anger becomes political, where the writing evokes a greater maturity, lost youth and a desire for resurrection.
Rather than a succession, the two texts are, as author Thibault Fayner points out, a reinterpretation of the same elements, two variations of the same story. The staging of the two texts is like the back and forth of the same myth. Certain elements, sounds, scenography, props are found from one text to the other, like the diurnal remains of a dream.
Thibault Fayner's diptych seems to me to be a tale, a coming-of-age story, which recalls the mythological themes of Sleeping Beauty - death converted into sleep, the expectation of adolescence, the awakening to life through sexuality. Hence the desire for a very urban scenography, but one in which nature reclaims its rights, as in the Pre-Raphaelite representations of Sleeping Beauty, stiff and comfortably asleep, beset by brambles and roses. In The Londoner, divided into five chapters, only the first and the last seem to narrate a fable and its evolution - from Morgane Poulette's mourning to her meeting with another man - the others seem to be mere bubbles, memories. In the light and the scenography, we move from reality to dream, from reality to fantasy.
This is also where the specificity of Thibault Fayner's language lies: both texts are in the "familiar form" and are addressed to Morgane Poulette. I chose to work with a single actress, who is both the narrator and a character, to work on the image and the prosody, as well as on the tangible embodiment by the actress' body and the direct relationship between the narrator and the audience. Only the strange text of the "healer", a sort of symbolic death that ends The Camp of the Unfortunate, will be performed by a man, in voice-over, which allows for a change of stage.
The device allows the distinction between the two parts to be accentuated: in The Camp of the Unfortunate, the actress moves very little, in a very forward-facing acting style, very much addressed to the audience; the set design is revealed in the second part: the island where she was in the first part, both a prison and a refuge, turns out to be surrounded by a large expanse of water, a real and dreamlike space, and enables five tableaux to be created, which are the chapters of The Londoner.
I also decided not to portray the rock sung by the heroine, founder of the group Pain and Fury - Thibault Fayner chooses to keep it a mystery and it is difficult to know, from the information he gives us, whether it is English rock or French pop. As when he talks about London, the author creates an imaginary space, a mental territory, consisiting of real but disparate elements. Hence the desire to work on a particular prosody, on the relationship between English and French, on the musicality of these two intersecting languages, on the impression of "déjà-vu" and collective unconsciousness that the names, the sounds of the text and the relationship between languages sometimes create. The actress evolves in dialogue with a musical device that deals with the melody of urban sounds and the musicality of memory.
The show was created in several forms - a light decentralised form and a stage form, proposing a scenographic and lighting device that embodies each of Morgane Poulette's mental spaces.
Coproduction Festival de Caves 2017, Ferme de Bel Ebat-Guyancourt
With the support of Théâtre-Cinéma Paul Eluard of Choisy-le-Roi, Nouveau Théâtre of Montreuil – CDN, Pôle Culturel d’Alfortville, Théâtre Ouvert – Centre National des Dramaturgies Contemporaines et Théâtre National of Strasbourg.
Creation avril 2017 during the festival de Caves, new creation on stage in October 2017at Colombier - Bagnolet
day-for-night is subsidised by the DRAC Bourgogne Franche-Comté and by the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. The company is supported in its projects by the Departmental Council of Doubs and the City of Besançon.
The company have a DGCA mentoring network with Thibault Fayner.
Based on The Camp of the Unfortunate followed by The Londoner by Thibault Fayner, éditions espaces 34, 2015.
Direction Anne Monfort
With Pearl Manifold and the voice of Jean-Baptiste Verquin
Light design Cécile Robin and Hugo Dragone
Sound design Emmanuel Richier
Scenography and costumes Clémence Kazémi
Director's intern Marion Begin -Université de Besançon
Production Coralie Basset
Booking Florence Francisco
Les Productions de la Seine
Press relations Olivier Saksik-Elektronlibre
Thanks Quentin Barbosa, Genséric Coléno-Demeulenaere, Marianne Deshayes and Hélène Morelli
From 5th to 24 July 2019
La Manufacture- festival off d’Avignon
On 10th January 2019
Théâtre de Morteau
On 28th November 208
[Calendar of previous performances in More information]
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