“Titus” – The prisons invisible

Photo: Charles Fleury
The show of the troop female Écornifleuses opens under the sign of freedom.

The initial idea, all in all, was simple enough : from a text to the theme and the characters largely male, play men by women, and vice versa. The table is set for Titus.


The show of the troop female Écornifleuses opens under the sign of freedom, the actors addressing the public in presenting him with the strings of the story. Already we leave the context of the only representation. The adaptation of Édith Patenaude takes it and leaves without way, as she had done with The world will be a better and Hamlet, even if we stay here more closely the text of Shakespeare.


Without the base of the stage and with costumes minimum, carried by the rails and the drums of war through scenes then Mykalle Bielinski, who will also sign the music (a final banquet beautifully quirky and Amazing Grace, sung in a voice chevrotante), the story follows Titus, this general illustrates that, on his return to Rome, sees fall on the misfortunes calling the vengeance.


The greater freedom, however, held in this inversion of roles on the axis between man and woman. It is from there that come the effects of the most interesting.


Query the receipt


Once the initial proposal is accepted, this game of mirrors will come soon to reveal something of the sexism ordinary. Call our discomfort in front of a Guillaume Perreault in queen Tamara, who is reduced to the seduction and calculations from behind, or a Anglesh Major in Lavina who eventually brings the narrative that his virtue, marchandable. The discomfort is real. That is to say, here, that the mechanism gauge its effects.


That say otherwise of these actresses in the emperor, warriors ? The hesitations that come to us, in front of a Valérie Marquis who force the voice in Saturninus, in particular, need to be examined. If Joanie Lehoux becomes perfectly credible in Titus, limits stand here and there, in the form of direct questioning that is addressed to our prejudices of the viewer, the same that we hang out in the city.


As she had done with The absence of war, the army is in phase with the air of the time. The mechanical highlights is a two weights two measures and marks a foray adroit in this report between the sexes as the current brews and rebrasse.


This plumb spoil however with the final scene, disconcerting. After the final blood bath, a very male, to the tune of a deadlock mexican, a second outcome we will be proposed. With a text that is not called The very lamentable roman tragedy of Titus Andronicus for nothing, the creators have a nice game of call a end more human. The result, however, is maudlin and, frankly, we cringe.


For what it is of the creative gesture, first of all : as if the intake of the female was brought back here to a call to empathy, to love as possible and to overcoming the hatred. Above all, the piece was strong as she played on the mechanisms that it was given, calling to the body and to experience real. The end marks a step aside, putting them in a discourse that is suddenly in the grip on reality.


Text : Shakespeare. Staging and adaptation : Édith Patenaude. With Mykalle Bielinski, Caroline Boucher-Boudreau, Véronique Côté, Marie-Hélène Gendreau. A production of Écornifleuses, LANTISS until 2 December.

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