Where There’s a Will
by Georges Feydeau
Directed by Zabou Breitman
Le Système Ribadier
2015-05-29 00:00:00 2015-07-17 00:00:00
“Now look me in the eyes...”
Whenever Mr. Ribadier wants to go see one of his mistresses, he abuses his powers of hypnotism. Eye to eye, hand in hand, a reassuring “I love you”, and with that the wife is put to sleep by the unfaithful husband who can slip away without a bother. He had to come up with this “system” to get around Angela’s jealousy, caused when she found the leather-bound book in which her first husband, Robineau, had meticulously noted his escapades. Having discovered that the man she had blindly loved dishonoured her 365 times in eight years of marriage, Angela is now on her guard. The unexpected arrival of the lovesick Thommereux, who had exiled himself to Batavia so as not to betray his friend, the late Robineau, could throw a spanner in the works of a perfect system.
Georges Feydeau, the author
From his teenage years, Georges Feydeau (1862-1921) had set his sights on making it in the theatre. Encouraged by Eugène Labiche among others, he persevered and at the age of 24, his playA Gown for his Mistress was warmly received. Six years later, in 1892, he triumphed with Champignol Despite Himself and Monsieur Has Gone Hunting. It was a fruitful year for him as it also saw the premiere of Where There’s a Will, which he co-authored with Marice Hennequin. Hypnosis was in vogue at the time, as a consequence of the research being done by Charcot and the Salpêtrière School of Hypnosis and so all the fashionable salons included hypnotism sessions in their social entertainments. It provided vaudeville writers with a fertile material, which Feydeau skilfully exploited, notably in The Lady from Maxim’s.
Zabou Breitman, the director Zabou Breitman was 4 years old when she first appeared on screen in an episode of Thierry la Fronde. Since then, on stage, in front of or behind the camera, she has received numerous awards, notably in the theatre for her stagings of Roland Topor’sL’Hiver sous la table (Winter Under the Table) and Des Gens (People), after Raymond Depardon. As well as appearing in five films in 2013/2014, she directed and performed, alone on stage, La Compagnie des spectres (The Company of Ghosts) based on the novel by Lydie Salvayre. For Zabou Breitman, in this “joyfully zany and incredibly imaginative” Feydeau play, “what we believe is not necessarily what we see, and what we see is is not necessarily what we believe”.
2:00 WITHOUT INTERMISSION
Direction****: Zabou Breitman
Assistant direction****: Marjolaine Aizpiri
Sets****: Jean-Marc Stehlé
Sets assistant: Catherine Rankl
Costumes and props****: Arielle Chanty
Lights****: André Diot
Sound****: Dominique Bataille
Hairdressing and wigs****: Diane Mahmoudi
Make-up****: Fanny Martin
Tamer****: Max Crochet Animalia Production
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