“Perplex(e)”: playful changes of identity

«Perplex(e)»: ludiques variations identitaires

Photo: Hugo B. Lefort
“Perplex(e)” unfolds a universe that is eminently theatrical, where one plays with the codes of representation.

After three original shows — this is the case, the Project Jar abandons the creation to play a piece of the contemporary repertoire. A turn that could be a bit risky, as the whimsical trio has managed to develop a universe to him, and, certainly, fans who are waiting with anticipated pleasure each of its unique offerings. But with Perplex(e), created in 2010 by the German Marius von Mayenburg, the collective, fond of humour unusual to opt for a work steeped a little in the same waters. The author of Face of fire there, flirts with the absurd.

The show, directed by Patricia Nolin takes his ease in a Small Unicorn transformed into a salon bourgeois, according to a configuration very effective. A conventional, but where the four characters gradually lose their familiar landmarks. This apartment, a couple found at the end of his vacation is it really his ? It was obvious at the outset is gradually undermined by cues to the contrary (that is where this plant unknown ?). And at the end of this opening sequence, the characters have accepted as if nothing was the fact that this housing is rather that of their friends.

The piece proceeds as follows, with no interruption apparent, in a series of different scenes. The situation is transformed in a trice ; the characters change their roles, identities without warning, keeping the same name ; the couples are formed. Reflection of a world of shifting identities, marked by doubt, where ” there is no truth “.

Above all, and this is perhaps the most the gran-of kinship with the creators of the Project Jar, that like to play with theatrical conventions, Perplex(e) deploys a universe that is eminently theatrical. The room has dropouts casual, where a character leaves the fictitious situation for the disclosure of codes of representation, such as the existence of the fourth wall. We may even see in this scene where a man lives in a sexual relationship that is transformative with his friend disguised in momentum (!), an allusion to the power of the identification of the actor dressed in character, to be his faculty to believe.

Described as’ ode to the freedom of the actor “, the work is carried loosely by the usual suspects (the delicious Sonia Cordeau, Simon Lacroix and Raphaëlle Lalande), in addition to Mikhaïl Ahooja, which fits with ease in the ensemble.

With these characters, including some of the certainties of identity are collapsing, and the text of Mayenburg seems to be tint more gravity at the end of course. And perhaps this is what might be blamed a bit in the show : a lightness that comes with a certain deficit of anguish. All that remains is waiting for the next creation of the band, here’s an interlude quite enjoyable.


Text : Marius von Mayenburg. Director : Patricia Nolin. A production Project Jar. To the Little Unicorn, until 18 December.

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