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Philippe Minyana
photo: Jean-Louis Fernandez
Actes du théâtre n° 63.[ imprimer ]
"A dress, a washbasin, and a lamp – three familiar everyday objects chosen among a host of others by Angèle, Jacqueline and Barbara. The three women tell their stories in a way that illustrates one of the characteristics of human relationships that is often experienced but rarely perceived: the absence of dialogue. They relive a few of their experiences, evoking the memories with a certain sparkle and delight to an optional spectator. Having someone listening is only a pretext or a justification here.
Who are they talking to!?
These women give us a catalogue of their memories. The lives of women who are neither young nor old, for whom anticipation of the future is hard and whose present life is humble. They’ve never counted on having good or bad luck.
They’ve allowed themselves to be carried along by life’s currents, daydreaming with little surprise about their past. A humble and sunny portrait of the human condition."
"Claire Berner Leenhart
Excerpt from an editorial in issue n° 809 of
L’avant-scène théâtre, May 1987"

"I’m always looking to forms for an artistic answer to all the agitation coming from the outside world.
The material at my disposal has been transformed over the years through being permeable and available with respect to these fields of exploration (artistic forms).
In 1987, there was Inventaires: interviews, performances, a play within the play.
Then active, exuberant monologues were replaced by building short scores, or dramas.
And now here I am in a land of fables and tales. The way I build ‘‘my web’’ has been immeasurably transformed and honed.
Working on Inventaires again nearly thirty years later, I can gauge the course of my writing, identify three ‘‘periods,’’ and establish links among them.
Actors and directors have always collaborated with me on this artistic adventure. Some have been lasting companions. Robert Cantarella is still one of those partners.
That he should want to have people hear again what first brought us together is an honor, an enchantment and a good idea.
It isn’t nostalgia, but more likely a robust and invigorating gesture showing that ‘‘the stuff of theater’’ cannot happen without a group, an idea, a dream, a utopia.
In that theater space we won’t repeat ourselves, we will build anew."
Philippe Minyana
April 2011

Opened at the Théâtre de Poche Montparnasse on January 24, 2013.
Director: Robert Cantarella. Set design: François Gauthier-Lafaye.
Lighting: Robert Cantarella. Sound: Reno Isaac. Costumes: Lucie Ben Bâta. Cast: Florence Giorgetti, Judith Magre, Édith Scob and Robert Cantarella or Michel Froehli.

Characters : 3 women - 1 men -
éditions Théâtrales -

ÈVE Good evening, I’m Ève. Tonight we are hosting Jacqueline, Angèle and Barbara… I’ll just go and get them! (She walks over to the wings, where the candidates are.) You may come out now! (The three candidates appear. Speaking into the mike, she calls them onstage.) Jacqueline Mettetal! Angèle Rougeot! Barbara Fesselet! (The three candidates walk downstage with their ‘‘control objects’.’ Jacqueline is holding a washbasin, Barbara a lamp, and Angèle is wearing a dress from 1954.) Jacqueline Mettetal!
JACQUELINE (addressing the audience) Good evening! I’m really scared of talking to you about my washbasin because it goes way back and when I go way back like that it stirs up layers and layers of feelings if you touch on those layers so it’s better not to touch on them at all. And if I’m grinning stupidly with my mouth wide open like this it’s because I’m nervous it hits me in the stomach a knot in my stomach nothing Alka Seltzer can fix and talking about my washbasin could gnaw at the knot and since the washbasin is tied to some stories that aren’t funny I laugh a lot when I don’t really feel like laughing I’ve always put on a brave face I admit I’ve been through hell that washbasin is my whole life it’s just a washbasin but sometimes a washbasin can tell you more about your life than anything else I can tell you already that I don’t like the southern highway my boyfriends and I had our fill of the south and when I see the southern highway ramp I think of my boyfriends and I don’t have a boyfriend anymore so just forget about the south!! Oh all this talking about my washbasin well I’m not smiling anymore I feel like bawling now!! I already had three kids then one night… Oh there’s that ‘‘knot’’ again shoot and I’m grinning this big grin I must be putting up a good front again and in fact people always say: how can you grin like that Jacqueline after the life you’ve had!