“Platonov, love, hatred, and blind spots”: the Courtship ridiculous

«Platonov amour haine et angles morts»: Amours dérisoires

Photo: Maxime Robert-Lachaine
On an empty board, the eight protagonists are struggling against the boredom that seeks to brush. In their clothes chic, dark, these men and women come and go, chattering excitedly and grapple.

Regardless of the material of drama on which it sets its sights, Angela Konrad appears to still pursue the same objective. In a clever mix of comic and tragic, it portrays the solitude of the individuals, their narcissism, their selfishness, but also their deep dismay, their thirst for love, a state of anger and existential, which has often devastating consequences. Until now, Shakespeare has given a lot of water to his mill, but also the German Roland Schimmelpfennig and the Spanish-Argentine Rodrigo García. These days, on the stage of Prospero, the director of The Fabrik returns to Chekhov, to which she had adapted The cherry orchard at the Usine C in 2013.

Titled Platonov, love and hate, dead angles, its rereading of Platonov, text, youth of the Russian dramatist, is of considerable rigor, aesthetic, to a certain extent radical. On an empty board with a white blinding, the eight protagonists selected (on the twenty in the room) struggle against the boredom that seeks to brush. In their clothes chic, dark, these men and women come and go, chattering excitedly and grapple, embrace and repel each other, as if they hoped to leave on the ground a trace of their trajectory, as if they wanted to print their face on the big wall in the back of the stage.

It is only in the country home of Anna (Violette Chauveau), the entire world revolves around Platonov (Renaud Lacelle-Bourdon) like planets around a star, in black. First, there is Sergey (Olivier Turcotte), the son of Anna, Sofia, Marie-Laurence Moreau), his wife, and then Sacha (Debbie Lynch-White), the wife of Platonov, and Nicolas (Samuël Side), the brother of the latter. There is also Marie (Pascale Drevillon), a chemistry student, and Glagolaiev (Diane Ouimet), a landlady. Little by little, Platonov’s going to contaminate everyone of his cynicism, the result in despair.

While the representation is an undeniable coherence of an aesthetic point of view, we note a strange disparity in regards to the game of the actors. Some are too much, abusing cries and tears, gestures and flips, flirting here and there with the histrionics. Other seems to be a lack of correctness in the how to pronounce their lines. Before this replay a bit outrageous, a monochrome picture as parts of musical pop are about the only ones that qualify, it’s hard to develop empathy for the characters, to distinguish the distress in my face. So it is surprising to bear their seizures rather than fully engage.

Platonov, love, hatred, and blind spots

Text : Anton Chekhov. Translation : André Markowicz and Françoise Morvan. Staging and adaptation : Angela Konrad. A co-production with the Groupe de la Veillée and The Fabrik. At the Prospero theater until 15 December.

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