Capital Critics' Circle
Le cercle des critiques de la capitale

Reviewing Theatre in Canada's Capital Region
La critique théâtrale de la région Ottawa-Gatineau

Festival TransAmérique: Une île flottante /Das Weisse vom Ei (Floating Island/Egg White), a “bizarre riff” of an uproarously funny French farce.

Reviewed by on    All the world's a stage, Theatre in Canada   , ,

Theater Basel / Das Weisse vom Ei / Charlotte Clamens,  Marc Bodnar, Nikola Weisse, Ueli Jäggi

Guest reviewer Martin Morrow. (Globe and Mail, CBC)

Photo: Simon Halström.  Une île flottante, produced by Theater Basel and Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne. Directed by Christoph Marthaler. Adapted from La Poudre aux yeux by Eugène Labiche

  Montreal’s Festival TransAmériques, that showcase of the daring and the avant garde, opened its 10th edition last week with a classic French farce.

But wait for it: this was a French farce as deconstructed by Christoph Marthaler, the celebrated Swiss director who turned the Broadway musical on its ear a few years ago with his Meine Faire Dame, ein Sprachlabor – a bizarre riff on Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady, set in a language lab. So his new touring production, Une île flottante/Das Weisse vom Ei (Floating Island/Egg White), which kicked off the FTA at Place des Arts, is no traditional slice of boulevard theatre – although, like the best farces, it’s uproariously funny.

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Tartuffe de Molière, traduction de Wolfgang Wiens, adaptation et mise en scène de Michael Thalheimer

Reviewed by on    All the world's a stage, Theatre in Canada   ,

Tartuffe

Texte français, posté sur le site theatredublog.unblog.fr

Le spectacle le plus attendu du Festival Transamérique ne nous a pas déçu.  Michael  Thalheimer  qui travaille habituellement  au  Deutsches Theater de Berlin, est au diapason  de Thomas Ostermeier, le directeur de la Schaubühne et de Marius von Mayenburg,  les prêtres de la nouvelle dramaturgie allemande, qui ont  pour habitude d’adapter les textes classiques.
Ils en gardent la structure, dépouillent la langue de ce qui leur parait excessif  et surtout  mettent en valeur, tout ce qui  est au plus profond de l’inconscient des interlocuteurs.
Michael Thalheimer  coupe des passages de Tartuffe,  ajoute des extraits de la Bible au début de la pièce qu’il transforme  ainsi en théâtre liturgique macabre. Sa mise en scène est soutenue par une orchestration rythmée de la parole biblique, et les vibrations d’un orgue qui nous rappelle l’ouverture du Fantôme de l’Opéra qui serait jouée comme une musique lyrico-religieuse. Cléante, le mécréant diabolique, chuchote  à l’oreille de son beau-frère Orgon, disciple cadavérique  de Tartuffe, nouveau prophète du mal.

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Tartuffe: Evil incarnate unleashes a chilling message to the world.

Reviewed by on    All the world's a stage, Theatre in Canada   , ,

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Photo: Courtesy of the  Schaubuhne  Berlin.

One of the most hated creations of the Classical French stage is the impostor Tartuffe, the false confessor, the spiritual guide, presented to us by the image of a gesticulating fanatic in a long black swirling dress and huge white collar, evoking Mme Pernelle, a Jansenist priest and a roaring Goebbels-like creature haranguing the audience about the qualities of this saintly man but using the vocal tones and gestures of a creature leading a Hitler rally . Exploding on Olaf Altman’s set  like a fiery fanatic in bristling punky hair, this creature sets up the past life of Tartuffe and prepares us for the seduction and Christian martyr scenario that follows. Tartuffe arrives, dragging himself into the world like a tortured soul, seeking the most horrible vengeance , spouting hate and destruction from all his orifices. The die is cast, and the worst is yet to come. In this version, all is played out in waves of highly charged physicality. Director Michael Thalheimer , by transforming the family confessor into a sincere fanatic who never tries to disguise his tendencies, has created a creature that is more cruel, more relentless and certainly more dangerous than he ever was in the traditional version of the play. True power is played out within rituals that highlight sexuality, as Jean Genet has always shown us and this German production emphasizes that fact. The urgency of this political message is very clear. Molière has finally entered into the 21st Century, much to the delight of the younger members of the audience.

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Updating Tartuffe at the FTA

Reviewed by on    All the world's a stage, Theatre in Canada   , ,

Tartuffe

Photo: Katrin Ribbe.   Lars Eidinger as Tartuffe

Tartuffe was one of the most anticipated productions of the 2015 Festival TransAmériques in Montréal. Produced by Berlin’s cutting-edge Schaubüne Theatre under the direction of Tomas Ostermeier,  known for his revisions of classical works, it is safe to say that (in most respects) this is a Tartuffe unlike any other. Knowledge of Molière’s play is needed to follow this often confusing adaptation. The confusion stems more from the director’s realization of his concept than the translated script whose few changes are congruous with the ideas presented.

Although Olaf Altmann’s high and box-like set is a modernist version of the picture frame stage, the production is not ruled by time. A contemporary black leather armchair, center stage, is the only furniture used; the walls are of mottled gold (filthy lucre?). A small black crucifix is centered on the back wall. (Continue reading » )

Bilingual Critics’ Panel in Montreal for the Festival TransAmérique : Tartuffe

Reviewed by on    Arts News   , ,

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Die Schauspieler Lars Eidinger (Tartuffe) und Regine Zimmermann (Elmire) saßen bei der Fotoprobe des Theaterstücks "Tartuffe" am 17.Dezember 2013 auf der Bühne der Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin. © dpa

 

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Die Schauspieler Ingo Hülsmann (Organ – l) und Lars Eidinger (Tartuffe) saßen bei der Fotoprobe des Theaterstücks "Tartuffe" am 17.Dezember 2013 auf der Bühne der Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin.

Martin Morrow writes to the CTCA

Dear CTCA members,

It’s a rare occasion when members of both the Canadian Theatre Critics Association and our sister (brother?) organization, the Association Quebecoise des Critiques de Theatre, get to meet and debate. It’s happening this month, courtesy of Montreal’s Festival TransAmeriques, which is hosting a joint critics’ panel on Saturday, May 23 at 5 p.m. EST.

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