Leaving the general of the first part ofAngels in America in the staging of Aurélie Van Den Daele, we say to ourselves that they are very lucky those who will be able to see the entire show. We entered that world with such ease. We let ourselves be enthralled, challenged, moved and dreamed, as if all of this were a natural thing. We did not feel the more than two hours of this first part go by. This is always magic in the theater.
The text by American playwright Tony Kuschner is magnificent. It also won the Pulitzer Prize for the theater to its author in 1993. His beauty, his intelligence, his depth, his poetry ring in the ear throughout the show, thanks to the remarkable play of the actors and actresses. They embody characters that they make vibrate by their commitment and their singularity. They make them infinitely touching in their complexity and perdition.
Like any great work, this text speaks with power about the human condition, the questions that will never end on life, death, love. But like any great work (confides Shakespeare), it places them in a historical context, the absurdities and violence of which it highlights. These go, alas, always hand in hand with the human. They constitute a canvas in which individuals struggle, which the spectacle shows very well.
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Here we are in the 1980s in the United States under Reagan. In this America of moral order and conservative values, AIDS is emerging. As everywhere, the epidemic is spreading mainly among drug addicts and homosexuals. Angels in America stages destinies shattered by disease and discrimination. She also shows how this virus shattered the veneer of conventions, of good thinking, which appear to be average hypocrites at the service of cynical wills for power and domination.
Unfortunately, one virus does not chase the other. Today, there is a great deal of accuracy in repeating this piece, created by Aurélie Van Den Daele in 2015 at La Cartoucherie in Paris. AIDS still exists. And a new virus, this time concerning everyone, highlights with virulence the dysfunctions, violence and absurdities of our societies.
While we watch Angels in America, the spectacle never ceases to make one think of today. What he portrays seems to be the germ of what is currently needed even more blatantly, for better and for worse. Questions about heterosexuality and homosexuality have become more complex to open up to those of gender to non-gender. The best thing is the right to these identities that has been asserted. The worst thing is the continued existence of discrimination.
The work also challenges questions of religion and communities. A few decades ago, they were very American. Today, they also tend to become much too French …
Human, aesthetic, poetic
All this is told by the actors, actresses and director in a very human, aesthetic and poetic way. The very elaborate stage language is given with a cinematographic fluidity carried by lights, atmospheres and a judicious soundtrack. The face-offs are sometimes just brilliant, like the scene of two couples breaking up simultaneously. Some paintings are of great beauty, opening to a part of dream and, therefore, of hope, that of an aspiration to levels of consciousness higher than ours.
In Limoges, Union theater
Th 16 Dec 2021. 7 p.m., episode 1, duration 2 hrs 20 min
Fr 17 Dec 2021. 7 p.m., episode 1 and episode 2, Duration 5 hours including intermission
Sat 18 Dec 2021. 17 h, episode 1 and episode 2 • Duration 5 h including intermission
Prices full € 10 and reduced € 8 for subscribers. € 6 for schools, associations, students, under 26, job seekers. 3 € RSA rate and cultural gateway. € 1 “last minute” for students under 26 – on sale 30 minutes before the start of the performance, subject to availability.
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By Muriel Mingau
We would like to thank the writer of this article for this outstanding material
Back to – The General of Angels of America by Tony Kushner by Aurélie Van Den Daele to see at the Union in Limoges