Théâtre de l’Ange Fou, L’Homme Qui Voulait Rester Debout

Review in Issue 7-1 | Spring 1995

It is indeed a rare opportunity to see a whole evening devoted to the works of Etienne Decroux, but it is perhaps even more extraordinary to see them performed with such incredible skill. The material presented by Théâtre de L’Ange Fou in their show L’Homme Qui Voulait Rester Debout spanned the master’s working life. With reconstructions of pieces such as Le Menusier (1931) to Le Prophete (1984) and their presentation by such consummate performers, one could not help but be both thrilled and touched by these poems of the air.

Steve Wasson, joint Artistic Director of the company with Corinne Soum (who also performed extensively), opened the programme with a striking performance of La Meditation (1950), Part 1. Clothed in only a white jock-strap and hood, the piece stood as testimony to Decroux’s desire to save the world by inviting it to stand up. It was not only beautiful to watch as a work of art in its own right, but also to watch a performer with incredible control over his body. All of the company members had to be admired for their commitment and dedication to developing their bodies for artistic expressivity – a refreshing change from seeing those performers who can only dream of attaining such skill. The artistic direction must also be praised as in L’Usine(1946) where nine performers, instead of the normal three, dressed in black body suits with white outlines, clarified many of the socialist overtones underpinning Decroux’s life and work. The evening closed with a beautiful performance of Les Arbres (1946) where, despite the near nakedness of the performers, the human body was depersonalised for representational expressivity. Decroux abhorred carelessness and laziness and I feel privileged to have seen his purist beliefs concretised by such dedicated people.

Artforms
Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1995

This article in the magazine

Issue 7-1
p. 24