In the Vosges, the Théâtre du Peuple turns the myth of Hamlet upside down

published on Saturday, July 30, 2022 at 3:01 pm.

A black and white perspective that opens in the forest of Bussang (Vosges) discovered when the Court buried Ophelia in the middle of huge skulls: at the Théâtre du Peuple, the director Simon Delétang offers Hamlet “in its original purity”, before presenting its contemporary version, Hamlet-Machine, by the German playwright Heiner Müller.

On stage, characters dressed in black move elegantly between large white cubes that move according to the scenes; a playful play with shadows and light that returns “to the quintessence of contemporary decoration” and honors that of Antoine Vitez in 1983, scenographed by Yanis Kokkos, explains Simon Delétang.

The scenery “leaves a lot of room for the actors”, adds Anthony Poupard, professional actor who interprets Laërtes, and the decoration “gives a lot of freedom to imagine the place, to play the space” for Salomé Janus , amateur actress playing a country girl.

When the living suddenly appears: a wolf dog that secretly crosses the stage before each appearance of the Spectre, the ghost of the murdered king and Hamlet’s father who asks him to avenge him, played by the amateur actor Jean-Claude Luçon.

An original choice by Simon Delétang who wanted “a furtive night animal”, reminiscent of the decoration of the Vosges forest. It “creates an effect of surprise that one can do in front of an apparition”.

– “Deconstruction” in Hamlet –

In front of the Spectre, a Hamlet is seen consumed by mourning and rebellion who “came to crush an old world”. “In five acts, Shakespeare confronts this young man with all the questions, all the worries and all the possible joys”, encouraged his translator Loïc Corbery, of the Comédie Française, who brought -also in the role of Hamlet-Machine then for his only. on the stage, Hamlet, on the side.

From August 12, after Shakespeare’s play, the troupe of 15 actors who mix professionals and amateurs – one of the specifics of the People’s Theater – will return to the stage to play his contemporary version, Hamlet-machine, in German playwright Heiner Müller (1929). -1995), a nine-page text on the “deconstruction” of Hamlet.

Simon Delétang has long wanted to mount this work written in 1977, “builds” for him and he knows by heart, this “type of poetry where there are no more characters”.

He wanted to present both in a row to “offer the audience to stay the night for an experience where they can be accomplices of the actors in a new reading of the work”.

– “People together” –

After the greetings, the decoration will change slightly and Simon Delétang will present Müller’s work in a fifteen-minute introduction.

Then the actors “in everyday clothes” are all on stage around the skeletons of Shakespeare’s play, for a performance at 1:10 am which is a public-facing rehearsal where they break the codes. in the theater by sometimes saying everything. at the same time, to the microphone, even changing roles according to the desires of the director who is also on stage.

“Playing both helps to find the meaning of the contemporary text, which may not be very readable at first reading”, describes Salomé Janus, for whom playing two pieces in a row is a way “to -with people to what is the contemporary use of great myths”.

Simon Delétang also chose to feminize the supporting roles in Shakespeare, where there were originally only two female roles, to “give their place to amateur actors”: a choice that informs Hamlet-Machine when where women take revenge and where Ophélie “destroys the framework. imposed by men”.

On Sundays August 21 and 28 and Saturday September 3, Loïc Corbery will conclude this “poetic journey” with his only stage production of 2019, Hamlet, à part, a montage of texts in and around work, “an imagination around the character that everyone they know thinks”.

Hamlet, by Shakespeare (3:30 am with intermission), is played from July 30 to September 3 at 3:00 pm from Thursday to Sunday. Hamlet-machine, by Heiner Müller, from August 12 to September 3 at 8 pm from Thursday to Sunday. Then Loïc Corbery’s only one on stage, Hamlet, is out, played on Sundays August 21 and 28 and Saturday September 3 at 12:00 pm (duration: 1:30 am). Prices: from 8 to 40 euros.

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