Sunday, 1 August 2010

Le Livre Blanc

Ernesto, what's your favourite theatre show ever (excluding your own) and why? I keep very fond memories of a show called "Le Livre Blanc", based on a book by Jean Cocteau, that I saw in the outskirts of Paris a few years ago. I was taken there by a Parisian man I had met on the internet. I am not sure I would have found my way on my own. The show took place in a small Egyptian café theatre (Théâtre Nout). As you walked in the venue, you felt you were transported to the North of Africa or the Middle East, surrounded by brass, fancy lamps and oriental carpets. After drinking a cup of mint tea at the spacious dining area, one was introduced to the steamy performance space, decorated and lit to resemble a Hamman, a Turkish bath. Guided by semi-naked male staff wearing only a towel, one was led to sit in the steam. The play told the tragic love story between Cocteau and a male lover. French is not my first language and I missed most of the dialogue. But the performance was very strong visually and it felt very dramatic. The beautiful men playing the lovers were supported by a very well coordinated ensemble cast. Very atmospheric. I remember the actors commented at the end of the show that they were working on a Spanish version of the play to tour it in Spain. I wondered why they were not considering an English translation. That production would fit very well in the Edinburgh Fringe.
Who (else) has been an inspiration to you, Ernesto? I can think of many sources of inspiration: Hispanic literary classics like Quevedo, Lorca and Borges; Greek poet Kavafis; Bowie's lyrics; film makers like Almodovar, Bunuel & David Lynch; artists like Bosch, Salvador Dali & Francis Bacon; thinkers like Freud & Foucault; performance artists like Ursula Martinez or Station House Opera; and, last but no least, London’s vibrant underground poetry scene.

1 comment:

  1. I love these insights into your thinking and ideas behind your work, what h sinfluenced you... it makes me realize we do have a lot of similar influences and interests (well, i knew that already, but still...)