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Le Complexe de Thénardier
José Pliya
Actes du théâtre n° 14.[ imprimer ]
War. The Mother takes in Vido who is fleeing from genocide. To make herself useful, Vido becomes a servant girl, a house cleaner, the maid who does everything. One cold winter morning Vido decides to leave. Against all logic and common sense. The Mother, who has a "Thénardier Complex", decides to try and stop her. Whatever it takes...

"Two women are talking, the Mother and Vido. But reasoning soon peters out. A disturbing kind of music comes out of their words, turning our senses upside down, bewitching certainties and beliefs. Flabbergasted and stunned, we discover that nothing has been said, played or concluded between the Mother and Vido, her adopted daughter/servant. The language is new, fine, pulsating, shaken by the rhythm of passions. José Pliya, carried away by his characters who refuse to be judged, accompanies them tenderly beyond all morality. Le Complexe de Thénardier is protected from being summed up and analysed by its grace. It is a solitary work that speaks magically about humanity. It is the work of a poet."
Extract from the preface by Jean-Michel Ribes, November 2001

Opens at the Théâtre du Rond-Point in late 2002.
Public reading by Catherine Hiegel and Sylvie Testud as part of the "Texte nu" event held by the SACD on Wednesday 11 July 2001 in the courtyard of the Musée Calvet in Avignon.

Characters : 2 women -
Éditions de L'Avant-Scène Théâtre, "collection des Quatre-Vents.

THE MOTHER: People say such nonsense. Times of peace are hard. Before, during the war, you opened your windows and there were colours everywhere. They would say anything - that things would be better in times of peace, and that the lights would stop going out. And they said that a house cleaner comes cheap and all you have to do is wish for one. So people imagine all kinds of things in the middle of a war. They imagine a maid who does everything and smiles as if she means it. You dream of things being cared for, of lavender and flowers being watered. And even if it isn't true, you dream anyway. […]People say such nonsense. Times of war are easier. In the crux of winter, you open your door to an unknown woman and all your childhood memories come flooding back. Your brothers and sisters shouting in the courtyard, your mother's orders flying with the dust, little hands running like ants. And time. Time to laugh at nothing because it's good to laugh; time to chat about this one and that one, about yourself and the whole world. Time in the kitchen for endless cooking that you drag out even longer because you've got so much time. Time to live. […] People say such nonsense. There are no masters, no slaves. There are ways of living or surviving, and when you can't take any more of war and violence, you search for whatever you can get, and you take what you find. And what you find is childhood, the vast landscape of your childhood. There's the courtyard, the shouting, the voices and the kitchen. And a mother saying "Lemon" and ten little hands rushing to hand her the lemon. "Fountain" and my sisters and I were flooded with drops of water from head to toe. "Dreams" and we could sleep peacefully until noon since those little hands were there for the coffee, the tea, and the chicory. […]People say such nonsense. Times don't change. There is no before and no now. There is no here or elsewhere. There is no gratitude, no consideration or respect. Only one thing remains: self-interest. Anything can be bought, sold and paid for. Anything. There is no humanity. No humanity.