Suzuki Matsuo Go-on
ou le son de la déraison[Theatre]
Parisian audiences were given a taste of Matsuo Suzuki’s wry, grating universe with Journal d’une machine (Machine Diary) in 2013. This time the Japanese author and director returns to France with one of his landmark pieces, Go-on. This humorous work sees its characters setting off in search of answers to existential questions, along a path filled with pitfalls.
At the very instant when a women finds an answer in response to the question of whether God exists or not, she is run over by a car. In order that the female driver takes responsibility for her act, the victim’s husband decides to abduct her. This is how Go-on begins, a show that Matsuo Suzuki, an iconic figure in Japan for the last twenty years, concocted for his troop of actors in 2002. Their impressive physical presence is characterized by a shift away from naturalistic acting. Instead, it evokes the high-voltage language of mangas and burlesque films. It is this which gives Go-on its rhythm and visual power. The language used is raw and zany, it’s brand of humour very dark indeed and the whole lot is carried off, as is often the case in the work of this company, by protagonists on the fringes of society. For the occasion, Matsuo Suzuki himself will be taking to the stage alongside his actors, in the role of the husband. With a solid reputation as a film-maker (Otakus in Love, and Bienvenue dans la Quiet Room amongst others), this jack-of-all-trades artist has also enlisted the services of a contemporary choreographer in order to enrich the onstage movements. Go-on tackles essentially metaphysical questions, but not without considerable doses of irony and tenderness: “I hope audiences will see just how ugly these characters are, but also, at times, something noble about them.”