An Armchair for the Orchestra – The Place for Parisian Theater Reviews »Alabama Song, by Gilles Leroy, directed by Guillaume Barbot, La Manufacture-Patinoire, Festival d’Avignon Off

July 17, 2022 |
Comments from on Alabama Song, by Gilles Leroy, directed by Guillaume Barbot, La Manufacture-Patinoire, Festival d’Avignon Off

© Aeldarrig & Benjamin Lebreton

ƒƒ article by Emmanuelle Saulnier Cassia

Alabama sang offers in an extremely structured and lively theatrical concert form a dive into Zelda Fitzgerald’s life, her tumultuous relationship with Scott and above all the mouth-watering of her creative gifts. Zelda was a muse to Scott while she had everything for either (also) her Pygmalion.

Gilles Leroy wrote a fictionalized story about Zelda, born in Alabama, the daughter of a judge and the granddaughter of a senator who won him the Prix Goncourt in 2007. Guillaume Barbot adapted the novel to successful musical form and brought together three talented musicians around Lola Naymark who also understand to play the role.

Lola Naymark catches immediately. It is said of certain artists or personalities that they are solar cells. The actress is, she, moon. The pale face under a shower of light, which from the first seconds of the play radiates fragility and emotion, immediately captivates. She plays torment and madness admirably. Where it is least convincing is in the choreographed moments, which unfortunately is unfortunate not only because of Zelda’s obsession with dance and the contextualization of the story, right in the roaring twenties. But it is of little importance as the rest of her acting is compelling, truly inhabited (even in the salutes where her very strong emotions are still to be taken and felt) by her role as a woman who is both free and captured, animated by a vital energy and creative beyond the ordinary and censored by her husband, whom she admires but who does not support her talent or her (relative) independence, even though both serve her as literary material. For Scott Fitzgerald not only draws inspiration from his life with the one he met when she was 18 and married two years later, that from his own writings, which he will plunder, not to say plagiarize, not be content with the invaluable proofreading and therefore improvement aid, which she will shower him with. If Scott needed Zelda as much as Zelda needed Scott, their unbalanced relationship added to the initial literary successes and the money spent as quickly as earned would lead them into a spiral of alcoholism and violence for him and schizophrenia for him. . driven by an emotional deprivation and a lack of carnal attention from her husband, which will cause her to seek her in the arms of one or more others. Not content with discouraging her on the literary level, which will force her to hide to write and also to seek refuge in painting, where she is less competitive, Scott will deprive her of her rights over their only daughter and will get her interned in various institutions. psychiatric patients undergoing treatments that destroyed her as much as they reassured her.

Lola Naymark embodies this crazy personal and intimate adventure in a completely remarkable scenography and staging. A circular and raised path of dark wood, as in the crazy roller coaster that is also the inevitably wobbly floor of his psychiatric appointments and the support of his tormented writings, where inversion of colors makes sense (white writing on black “side”). also serves as a setting for the musicians who do not accompany the show, but do so, by restoring the soundscape of the roaring thieves, but also by embodying the couple’s crises with Thibault Perriard (Scott) playing drums as with his life, Louis Caratini links melodies to the piano, full of the promises of peaceful and fulfilled love from an aviator who certainly passes through, but who will give Zelda of physical love a different idea than the one she has rarely but violently experienced in the arms of her husband. It is not surprising to learn that Pierre-Marie Braye-Weppe is a student of Didier Lockwood, as he excels on violin and ideally completes the musical trio.

Alabama sang is the portrait of a woman and an era, but which despite their specificity, could perfectly be that of other contemporary women, including at the time of #MeToo, who does not solve everything. A tragic heroine who died tragically, in the flames of her psychiatric cell.

The apparent darkness of argumentation should not deter people from going to see Alabama sang which is both a beautiful tribute to this unique and magnificent woman and a very beautiful moment of jazz.

© Aeldarrig & Benjamin Lebreton

Alabama sangby Gilles Leroy

Instructor: Guillaume Barbot

Set design: Benjamin Lebreton

Light: Nicolas Faucheux assisted by Aurore Beck

Costumes: Benjamin Moreau

Collective musical performance, instruction Pierre-Marie Braye-Weppe

Sound: Nicolas Barillot assisted by Camille Audergon

Choreographic look: Bastien Lefèvre

Assistant instructor: Stéphane Temkine

Dramaturgical look: Agathe Peyrard

Audio management: Camille Audergon, Vincent Chabo

With: Lola Naymark and the musicians-actors Pierre-Marie Braye-Weppe, Louis Caratini, Thibault Perriard

Duration 1 hour 15 minutes (2h15 in total if you use the theater bus)

Until July 26 at 9.40 (if you take the Manufacture bus), closed on 20 July

Alabama sang

The production (ice rink)

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