Is it the three Molières, for the adaptation, the staging and the best private theater play that Le Repas des fauves received in 2011, the word-of-mouth effect or both? It is clear that the Théâtre Hébertot is never empty. The Armenian author, journalist and screenwriter Vahé Katcha, whose first play it was in 1960 - he only wrote two - nevertheless imagined a cruelly funny story. During the Occupation, in 1942, in an apartment on Avenue de Versailles, seven friends met to celebrate Sophie's birthday. The young woman opens her presents. Despite the restrictions, the champagne flows freely.
Dressed like a pope, Monsieur André, alias Thierry Frémont, knows how to do it. He unpacks treasures of food. But suddenly shots ring out. At the foot of the building, two Germans were shot dead. Determined to avenge them, an SS officer (terrifying Jochen Hägele) demands that the guests choose two hostages from among them. They have two hours to decide. Under threat, conflicts break out between these “excellent French people”: in addition to the collaborator, a doctor, a bookseller, a resistance fighter, a survivor, a philosophy professor… The tension rises, the baseness, the mediocrity and the spinelessness of each of the “ friends” comes out. Disillusioned, Vahé Katcha points out the darkness of the human soul. “ Man is a wolf to man,” he recalls.
Julien Sibre created Le Repas des fauves in 2009 at the Théâtre André Malraux in Rueil-Malmaison. He takes it back fourteen years after having modified the cast, which plays alternately, and the staging. Camille Duchemin's decor has become more bourgeois. On the other hand, Julien Sibre kept the animated film by Cyril Drouin projected in the background and the soundtrack. Performed by unknown people and without any promotion at the time, this piece is a miracle. Julien Sibre had the idea, at 26, after seeing Christian-Jaque's film on television. With the approval of Vahé Katcha and his family – the author died in 2003 – he reworked the text to transpose it onto the stage.
Also read: These authors who fill the theaters
He gave it a first reading in 2006, but the project was refused by most of the theater directors. “No one believed in it,” remembers Didier Caron, then brand new director of the Théâtre Michel, a place dedicated to comedy, who took the risk of programming it in September 2010. The three prestigious trophies confirmed his choice and attracted a increasingly numerous audiences. Le Repas des fauves remains one of his greatest successes.
Le Repas des fauves, at the Théâtre Hébertot (Paris 17th), until January 7, 2024.
RESERVE YOUR PLACES WITH LE FIGARO