QUESTIONS FOR THE FUTURE
How does the normalization of individuals set in? The standardization of theirithoughts and language? What is the process of any form of metamorphosis?
Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota revives Eugène Ionesco's Rhinocéros which he first produced in 2004. Since then, among other plays, he staged Horváth's Casimir and Caroline, the story of the debacle of a young generation caught in the whirlwind of a history they refuse to see, and Brecht's Man for Man, the itinerary of a simple man, Galy Gay, who by changing his name changes himself into a merciless warrior; he is just the opposite of Bérenger, Ionesco's iconic character. Bérenger is a simple man too, but when faced with his fellow citizens' transformation into wild animals, remains true to his nature. Demarcy-Mota did not choose these plays haphazardly, Rhinocéros least of all.
"I like to come back to playwrights who question the place and role of the individual in collective history, on his responsibility, his freedom of thought, beyond any form of individualism.
"ionesco, Brecht and Horváth belong in the 20th century. They are close to us, we know what they experienced, we are their descendants. Yet we live in a different time and that gives us another perspective on their writings, a necessary distance.
The disembodiment of thought and language
"Ionesco knows how to depict dialectically every man's cowardice, conformism and hypocrisy. This melancholy mind from Eastern Europe has a rather virulent vision of the world and of men, but he does not write a theatre of despair. He obstinately stands on the side of creative objection, inventive fantasy and freedom. Rhinocéros draws a bewildering picture of the state of our material world, a sombre and ferocious allegory of ideological contamination. I now see with greater clarity than I when first staged it the way the play reveals how the normalization of thought and language, together with their gradual disembodiment, sets in. It is a funereally burlesque play that we wish to render with full energy.
An Intimate fracture
"Bérenger does not yield to contamination. Not because of any ideological commitment or out of bravery. He is devoured by his own ill-being; there is nothing heroic about him and he is close to 'the man without qualities…' He resembles those characters by Musil or Kafka who are so ordinary that they do not seem to exist as they pass through the world like embarrassing ghosts.
"The transformation of beings remains a mystery in Rhinocéros. The play is a myth and I now think, after having staged it previously, that, all things considered, it tackles the issue of commitment in a very modern way which in the 60's was really iconoclastic. Taking that as a starting point, we might get a new perspective.
A Company Today
"Besides, our purpose is not to revive a previous staging, but to explore it again with the same actors: they know the play from the inside, they have already felt its poise. So we may search for new angles with real freedom. That is why the company is an absolute necessity. A group of people who work and think together, who try to define together what new questions must raised for our future."
Interview : Colette Godard
TO ACCOMPANY THE PROCESS OF THIS NEW PRODUCTION OF RHINOCÉROS, EMANNUEL DEMARCY-MOTA AND THE ACTORS WILL DEVOTE A MOMENT TO RESEARCH, A FORM OF "LABORATORY" EXPERIENCE AROUND IONESCO'S WORK, HIS DRAMATIC BUT ALSO HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WRITINGS. THEIR REFLEXIONS WILL BE SHARED WITH THE AUDIENCE IN THE COURSE OF THE SEASON.