Post a Comment Print Share on Facebook

Sea Workers at Lucernaire: Elya Birman sets sail with Victor Hugo

“His tentacle-sentences entwine full of sucker-words around centuries and empires,” wrote Michel Butor about Victor Hugo.

- 9 reads.

Sea Workers at Lucernaire: Elya Birman sets sail with Victor Hugo

“His tentacle-sentences entwine full of sucker-words around centuries and empires,” wrote Michel Butor about Victor Hugo. Hugo, the octopus writer. There is one on the Lucernaire stage: the octopod creature is mimed by the fabulous fabulist actor Elya Birman, one-man band of Travailleurs de la mer. The actor is alone on stage or rather the sole master on board. He plays Gilliatt, the hero of this very sad story with universal significance.

The plot is biblically simple. The Durande, “ the first steamship to have sailed the Channel, and which made the regular service from Guernsey to Saint-Malo, (was) lost (…) on the Dover Rock”. The owner of the ship, Lethierry, had invested all his fortune in it and “the Durande being no more, Lethierry no longer had any reason to exist”. His only hope: that a man will fish out not the boat reduced to a wreck, but the machine “barely reached in this devastation”.

Who would be crazy enough to take on such an endeavor? Lethierry does not offer the jackpot to whoever will save her but the hand of his daughter, the beautiful Déruchette. All the dramatic elements are in place. His genius does the rest. Elya Birman - sailor cap, full beard, tired pants, woolen jacket and pair of slouching sneakers - will, for more than an hour, tell us the fate of Gilliatt, a solitary man, not handsome but with exemplary courage. The decor is not monumental. On the right, a boat made of a few boards, three stepladders, ropes, a fan, a flashlight and old paint cans from which steam comes out...

On the ground, plastic tarpaulins, pieces of cotton wool or paper in place of snow... With so few things, this staging recreates an entire maritime world, and the spectator makes a film for himself: he imagines a port (we hear the cry of the seagulls, the ebb and flow of the waves...), he imagines the ocean and its abysses. Here, nothing emphatic, just a marvelous spectacle of simplicity like the language, sonorous echoes, of Hugo. The actor does not spare himself. His courage and distress are contagious. Look at him, poor shaggy man, facing the storm: the scene seems to tremble.

Also readDeficits, absence of director... What future for the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe?

Theater magic without artifice. There are plenty of discoveries, and Hugo's prose, this toolbox with which he does what he wants. The proof by the octopus: “(She) has no bones, she has no blood, she has no flesh. She's flabby. There's nothing in there. It's a skin. The whole beast is cold. (…) The octopus is the most formidably armed of all beasts. So what is octopus? It's the sucker. » Gilliatt fights the foul beast ; he is Ulysses, he is Theseus, but without Penelope, without Antiope on arrival. His beautiful bride Déruchette has left with Ebenezer... We know the last, moving image of this cruel and grandiose tale.

Les Travailleurs de la mer, at Lucernaire (Paris 6th), until March 17. Such. : 01 45 44 57 34 ; www.lucernaire.fr

BOOK YOUR TICKETS

Avatar
Your Name
Post a Comment
Characters Left:
Your comment has been forwarded to the administrator for approval.×
Warning! Will constitute a criminal offense, illegal, threatening, offensive, insulting and swearing, derogatory, defamatory, vulgar, pornographic, indecent, personality rights, damaging or similar nature in the nature of all kinds of financial content, legal, criminal and administrative responsibility for the content of the sender member / members are belong.