Jonathan Châtel Andreas[Theatre]
With Petit Eyof, his first production, Jonathan Châtel made a big - and well placed - impact. At once dark and dazzling, minimalist and powerfully contemporary, his reading of Ibsen’s masterpiece earned the young Franco-Norwegian director the Prix du Public at the Festival Impatiences in 2013. With Andreas, he now turns his attentions to that other eminence grise of Scandinavian theatre: August Strindberg. A towering range that he ascends by what is undoubtedly its steepest summit: To Damascus, a monumental triptych written between 1898 and 1904 by a writer in deep personal crisis, relates perhaps, in accordance with the biblical episode of the same name, the story of a conversion. From out of this labyrinthine piece racked with paranoia, Jonathan Châtel has decided to retain the first part only, “because it carries within it the purity of the movement of writing. This is impulse at its most complete and naïve level”. He has decided to give a first name to the character of the Stranger, the play’s “hero”, in order to bring out the traits of this “self-portrait and self-criticism of a man in free fall”. Around Thierry Raynaud will be gathering a Russian-doll like assembly of actors and actresses in order to give flesh and body to this “throng of doubles and half-doubles, twins and half-twins” (Arthur Adamov). The disconsolate writer collides with this gallery of masks and mirrors at every turn, as though he were, perhaps, our own double.