Rodolphe Congé Rencontre avec un homme hideux

based on the work by David Foster Wallace


It was through the intermediary of the author and director Joris Lacoste that Rodolphe Congé discovered the work of David Foster Wallace. Plunging deep into the writing of this American author, who committed suicide in 2008, aged 46 years old - the actor decided to bring one of his short stories to the stage. But not just any old one. Rencontre avec un homme hideux, taken from the Brief Interviews with Hideous Men collection, is more of a story within a story, in which a man tells his female interviewer - whose questions are omitted from the transcripts - the transformatory effect that a young woman had on him. After meeting her at some stage prior to this, the latter tells him, after he has seduced her, how she narrowly escaped being murdered. Going beyond a mise en abyme, Rodolphe Congé’s aim is to reconstitute the experience of the work’s form of address, and to develop this possibility of immediate identification that the narrative mechanism sets up. More precisely, he adds “the spectator is in exactly the same place as the narrator. He or she is someone who listens to someone’s telling of a story, who in turn has heard a story themselves.” The actor Rodolphe Congé, who has been directed by the likes of Klaus Michael Grüber, Stéphane Braunschweig, Alain Françon and Robert Cantarella has decided to tackle Hideous Men for this his second work as director. The project also sees him collaborating once again with Joris Lacoste, who directed him in Le vrai spectacle, during the Festival d’Automne à Paris in 2011.