A Anthéa, a magnificent show to discover at the end of April and the beginning of May, a French adaptation by Pierre Laville and directed by Daniel Benoin.
Married to a beautiful artist from a bourgeois background, Amir, a famous New York barrister, rejected his culture of Muslim origin to pursue a career in a Jewish law firm. But, during the defense in favor of a local imam accused, probably wrongly, of having granted financial funds to terrorism, the question of Amir’s religious and political choices is raised in the press.
The curtain rises on the spacious living room of this couple’s New York apartment. Through huge bay windows, we can see the skyscrapers of post-9/11 Manhattan: a magnificent setting created by Jean Pierre Laporte (a regular at Anthea).
The play therefore takes place at Amir and his wife’s, during a dinner with a couple of friends of whom he is a Jewish art curator and his partner an African-American lawyer. The evening promises to be pleasant, everyone tells a few anecdotes while the others react pleasantly. Until a sentence, maybe even a single word, and the ground becomes totally mined…
In this evolved society where tolerance is essential, suddenly everything goes wrong. One word is enough for malevolent interpretations to fuse and everyone to cling to ancestral values that circulate in the blood of each of them.
All defend their points of view in a visceral way while social and family origins resurface. It is no longer the head that functions, but what is most repressed, most buried in everyone, which suddenly rises to the words. The unspoken finally escapes, and pretense no longer has any place in this questioning where everything explodes. For everyone, the past imposes itself again in spite of themselves and old convictions reappear without any social etiquette.
Very contemporary, this theater speaks of our time in all its contradictions, forcing us to review our lifestyles and our relational functioning.
The author, Ayad Akhtar (2013 Pulitzer Prize), highlights situations and words that are too often buried behind the social codes of propriety.
During this dinner, supposedly friendly, the violence of words is no longer contained between unspoken and pretense. Now she escapes with fury and virulence. The excessiveness of the words is accentuated while the narcissistic wounds and the irascibility of the guests can no longer be concealed. Everything explodes: religions, sex, loyalty, politics, friendships…
The acting is impeccable in unleashing their animosity. The escalation of this situation of excessive fury is underlined perfectly by all. Of course, one can only express admiration for Sami Bouajila (Caesar for best actor 2021) who seems to lose all reference between tradition and modernity. This Franco-Tunisian actor was born near Grenoble where he made his theater debut some 30 years ago with Daniel Benoin as a teacher. He finds him again as the director of “Disgrâce”, a new production by Anthéa. His game intelligence matches the rest of the cast: Alice Pol, Olivier Stiruk, Mata Gabin and Adel Djemaï : they are all perfect, masterfully directed by Daniel Benoin who also signs the changing lights on New York.
Caroline Boudet Lefort
Tuesday April 26, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday April 27, 2022 at 8:30 p.m.
Thursday April 28, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.
Friday, April 29, 2022 at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday April 30, 2022 at 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday May 3, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday May 4, 2022 at 8:30 p.m.
Thursday May 5, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.
Friday, May 6, 2022 at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday May 7, 2022 at 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday May 10, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday May 11, 2022 at 8:30 p.m.
Thursday May 12, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.
Friday May 13, 2022 at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday May 14, 2022 at 8:30 p.m.
Front cover photo: DISGRACED ©Philip Ducap
We wish to give thanks to the writer of this post for this outstanding content
ANTHEA – DISGRACE by Ayad Akhtar – Art Côte d’Azur