Moliere is so powerful, so universal, it speaks to us so closely, that there was no need for a contemporary décor and costumes in the air of our time to experience its proximity. But what makes Stéphane Braunschweig, with a staging of The School for wives is far more radical and, one is immediately struck by the power of its analysis and the force of his humor.

as Soon as the curtain of the great hall of the Odeon (Life) goes back, one is immersed in the world of effort and desire for perfection! Arnolphe (Claude Duparfait) and his friend Chrysalde (Assane Timbo) are perched on bikes in gym and pedal farm while discussing. Shirt close to the body, Arnolphe is a dynamic framework. Young? Not really, it is not far from his 45 years. He returns home to discover a disaster. The girl he has purchased with his nurse, fourteen years ago, to raise it away from the world mad and make her his wife without the fear of being one day wrong, this young Agnes (Suzanne Aubert) has not been well enough monitored by Alain (Laurent Caron) and Georgette (Ana Rodriguez). She was seduced by a young man, Horace (Glenn Marausse), and Arnolphe is all the better aware of the case and infuriated that he entrusts himself to him…

Stéphane Braunschweig exercises his irony corrosive, and destroys everything what we think we know of the piece

Everything is in place for a terrible drama. But Stéphane Braunschweig goes further. He exercises his irony corrosive, and destroys everything what we think we know of the room. It manages to weigh in on one of the replicas the most famous in the French repertoire, a sentence that says purity and innocence, a terrible ambiguity. “The little cat is dead,” says the young Agnes to Arnolphe, who asks of the new… In this version mocking, it is seized with a strange mark, because of a video, which was contemplated some time ago… But shhh!

The key is not there, but in the miraculous interpretation. Each one is excellent. The complicity and the friendship of old which bind the director and the stage actor Claude Duparfait eat here a supplement of freedom, boldness, and grace. We must dare, as Braunschweig the request to the interpreter of Arnolphe, show a man a prisoner of his fantasies, blinded, and lustful, taking over the place and not holding more, literally… Stiffness liquefying to deliver a face and a body shaken by spasms, child voice and the voice of ogre, modulations hysterical, look crazy, look disarming, Claude Duparfait is extraordinary. Heartbreaking and disgusting, upsetting and ridiculous.

Suzanne Aubert, who has been under the direction of the same director, the simmering Hedvig of the wild Duck of Ibsen, is right here with acute and any depth. It is well known that Horace is an idiot. And the scene of the denouement is not reconciling: Agnes flees. Agnes tries to save his skin…

“The School for wives”, at the Odeon Theatre, place de l’odeon (Life). Tel.: 01 44 85 40 40. Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday at 20 h, Sunday 15 h. until 29 December. Then on tour. Duration: 1: 55. seats: from 6 to 40 €.

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