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L'Enfant - Drame rural
Carole Thibaut
L'Enfant - Drame rural
Actes du théâtre n° 61.[ imprimer ]
In a village in the South of France, an infant appears at the doorstep of a farmhouse, turning the life of the community upside down and acting as a catalyst for each and every one of its inhabitants. No one in the village is willing to look after the child, even for a few days. In a climate of suspicion, rumors and a reawakening of the past, the infant is passed from hand to hand before coming back to the woman who first found him, the village idiot.

The story of the thirteen characters and the fate of the child are intertwined, creating mini-upheavals and clashes until the denouement, an act of transgression that indirectly dooms the village to destruction. The story was inspired by the episode of Sodom in the Bible, where they are punished for not honoring the laws of hospitality to a stranger. The first part of a project entitled ‘‘territorial communities,’’ the fictional work L’Enfant scrutinizes the rituals and codes of an insular group at risk of slowly sinking from ordinary to inhuman behavior toward a stranger.

Excerpt of the presentation of L'Enfant by Dominique Boissel

‘‘She emerged gradually, writing, directing and at times acting in her plays with her company, Sambre. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her original, sensitive, provocative writing, often based on investigative work. The production of L’Enfant – Drame rural presented here at Philippe Adrien’s theater is bigger than her preceding ones.’’
Gilles Costaz, Théâtral Magazine, September 2012

‘‘In 2009 I spent three months on a writing retreat as an associate playwright at the 6th Textes en l’air festival devoted to contemporary writing, in the little medieval village of Saint-Antoine l’Abbaye (in Isère). Part of the retreat was spent gleaning words and stories from the inhabitants. L'Enfant developed from spanning all those lives and territories, a work of fiction and imagination, a theatrical fable that sprung from reality. The play is the first part in a bigger project entitled Les Communautés territoires, each play growing out of the personal experience of a different territory. As different and contrasting as these territories may be (an island, a suburban project, a village), they all produce codes, rituals and specific stories within the isolated and insular human communities living there, and ultimately, a similar sclerosis and deviance. Monstrous and “inhuman” things can grow out of such ordinary human groups through a nearly imperceptible and seamless process of shifting and twisting social rules and values. It’s this process that I’m interested in trying to break down and to understand. What happens in the village is a reflection of what is threatening society on a larger scale. It’s all the more blatant at the moment when you see the incredibly high percentage of “ordinary” people who agree with ideas capable of generating monstrous, inhuman behavior. The greatest danger would be in thinking that such monstrous acts could only be committed by persecutors or fanatic monsters and in forgetting that they are only made possible with the tacit or avowed complicity of the human community.’’
Carole Thibaut

Opened and presented from September 26-October 27, 2012 at the Théâtre de La Tempête (Cartoucherie de Vincennes). Then on tour throughout France from November 2012 to July 2013.

Director: Carole Thibaut. Artistic Advisor and Assistant Director: Clotilde Maurin and Fanny Zeller. Dramaturg: Mariette Navarro. Costumes: Magalie Pichard. Technical Design: Carole Thibaut and the InVivo collective (Julien Dubuc, Chloé Dumas, Samuel Sérandour). Cast: Marion Barché, Thierry Bosc, Eddie Chignara, Sophie Daull, Emmanuelle Grangé, Donatien Guillot, Fanny Santer, Boris Terral.

Characters : 7 women - 6 men -
Lansman Editeur

He was pleased about lending me books. So I’d take an interest. But what mainly interested me was him. When I’d go over to him he’d say Go on you’re just a kid. But he let me go on and one day it went on and on and we went all the way. I was so happy that day. He said never again. And the next day we did it again. And every day after that. And then I got pregnant. And he was over the moon. It was funny. I’d never seen him like that before. Really over the moon. I didn’t think men got like that. I thought only women could get like that at the thought of a little one coming along.