In Lyon, Les Nuits de Fourvière are betting on Beckett and Les Chiens de Navarre to create awareness.

We go with Alain Françon on the famous countries “Waiting for Godot”, and together with Jean-Christophe Meurisse we give up the last episodes of our recent past through his troupe’s trashy irony.

The Roman amphitheater in Odéon is an ideal setting for discovering the first performances ofWaiting Godot by Samuel Beckett in the direction of Alain Françon. We know that the action takes place on a country road between a tree reduced to a twisted trunk and a large rock. Performed during the star vault, the landscape proposed by Beckett seems all the more metaphorical as it confronts reality in a nearby nature.

The pair of celestial vagabonds, formed by Vladimir and Estragon, shine with an unsurpassed participation in the incarnations proposed by Gilles Privat and André Marcon, while the performance of Pozzo (Philippe Duquesne) and Lucky (Éric Berger) is worthy of a ghostly circus as cruel as it is disturbing. In this unique cast, along with Antoine Heuillet (A Boy), the text with all its truths resonates once and for all to contradict its membership of the label “the absurd theater”, which is only one wrong way.

The elegance of despair

Reflections on a misery inherited from the trauma of World War II testify to the play of a Europe marked by desolation and a world that is impossible to reconstruct with conscience after the point of no return in the horror that Auschwitz represents. Alain Françon makes this complaint heard through a tongue-in-cheek humor that first and foremost claims the elegance of despair. At a time when Europe has once again become a territory of destruction and war, Beckett’s reflections are proving to be shockingly current.

Waiting for Godot directed by Alain Francon © Jean-Louis Fernandez / Nights of Fourvière

With Life is a party of the dogs of Navarre, we shift to another dimension to determine the obscenity of our hexagonal present without any care whatsoever. The show opens with the introductory session of a renewed National Assembly, where the elected representatives, whether they are environmentalists, left, far left, right or far right, all take for their rank. The rare opportunity to see director Jean-Christophe Meurisse step forward and mingle with the troupe to add his voice to the chaos of saliva from the public ranks.

We can for a moment surrender ourselves to a tenderness and a nostalgia that is now certainly a part of the world of the past.

The opus thus starts on the wheels to better have fun rewinding the long ordeal that the French have experienced in recent years. A way to see through the hospital’s accidents in times of pandemic as well as the violence during the oppression that was subjected to the movement of yellow vests.

In this France, where demagoguery and populism now reign, the furious epic does not forget one last tribute to an expensive deceased in the form of Christopher. When one listens to some of its key titles, one then chapters the show like so many beautiful beaches of poetry, where one can for a moment surrender oneself to a tenderness and a nostalgia that is now certainly a part of the world before.

Life is a party Navarra Dogs © Ph. Lebruman

Fourvières nights until July 30 in Lyon

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, directed by Alain Françon. On tour in 2023, from 17 to 19 January, Théâtre de Carouge, Geneva (Switzerland). From February 3 to April 8, La Scala, Paris. In April, Domaine D’O, Montpellier, in May, CDN de Nice, Nice, dates to be confirmed.

Life is a party of the Dogs of Navarre, directed by Jean-Christophe Meurisse, until June 30 as part of the Les Nuits de Fourvière festival, Théâtre La Renaissance in Oullins. July 9 and 10 at the MARS-Mons Performing Arts Festival, Mons, Belgium.

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