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Ma mère qui chantait sur un phare
Gilles Granouillet
Ma mère qui chantait sur un phare
photo : DR
Actes du théâtre n° 63.[ imprimer ]
Marzeille and Perpignan, two brothers around ten years old, live with their mother in a poor little house on a remote moor. One morning when the elder brother, Marzeille, is off drowning the puppies that were just born, the younger brother, Perpignan, is paid a call by a strange figure who tells him that his mother is perched on top of a little lighthouse down the beach a ways, that she’s singing there while looking out at the ocean and that, above all, she has attracted a crowd of mocking men who all want to join her up there by the lamp.
The two children decide to go to their mother’s rescue.

‘‘Written in a highly unusual form combining narrative, interior monologues and classic dialogue, this play should be read like a ‘‘road movie’’ for children. An unusual story about siblings is revealed through an obstacle course where they try to rescue their mother unlike any other. Imbued with a powerful relationship to nature, animals and objects, Ma mère qui chantait sur un phare takes you into a world seen from a child’s viewpoint, with its strange and comical perspective. It is also an initiation rite that is both painful and filled with innocence.’’

‘‘Granouillet’s writing is subtly streaked with lyrical flashes, spotlighting unpredictable moods that make it invaluable. A coming-of-age story whose charm continues to haunt you well after the performance is over.’’
Jean-Pierre Léonardini, L’Humanité, January 7, 2013

French premiere at the Théâtre de l’Aquarium from January 4- February 3, 2013.
Director: François Rancillac. Set design: Raymond Sarti. Lighting: Marie-Christine Soma. Costumes: Cidalia da Costa. Sound: Michel Maurer; Cast: Patrick Azam, Anthony Breurec, Antoine Caubet, Riad Gahmi, Pauline Laidet, Françoise Lervy.
Translated into Rumanian, German and Greek.

Characters : 3 men -
Editions Actes Sud - Papiers -

MARZEILLE My dog is staring at me. Her three puppies are in that black plastic bag. They were born this morning. I’m going to drown them.

PERPIGNAN You can’t drown them.

MARZEILLE He was born three years after me. He’s going to be short-legged, the midwife said. And he is short-legged. And strong as an ox. I call him Perpignan. That’s not really the point, Perpignan I mean, but it sounds like Pepin, the shrimpy king plus gnan-gnan … Perpignan…right here beside me. Everywhere. He follows me everywhere.

PERPIGNAN My mother’s the one who drowns them. You’re too little to drown them.

MARZEILLE She’s not here.

PERPIGNAN He was born three years before me. He’s taller. He’s got some tricks that really kill me. Sometimes he kills me with those tricks. He steals the flame from a lighter, holding it in his closed fist, for a long time, without crying and when it hurts too much he puts it back onto the lighter – without even getting burned!
I call him Marzeille. Marzeille, like here. So I call my brother Marzeille, it’s bigger than Perpignan.

MARZEILLE There’s an age when you learn to kill. It’s when you come of age. I’m there. This morning I put the puppies on the plaid blanket. The dog was staring at me. She isn’t pretty. The hair in her coat is like drum sticks. Long tufts and short tufts. She hardly moves, trusting.

PERPIGNAN Where are you going to put them?

MARZEILLE I haven’t thought about that. My hands are full.

PERPIGNAN She takes them in a plastic bag.

MARZEILLE How can I grab a plastic bag when I’m carrying the puppies? I set them down. Where? I set them down with their mother.

PERPIGNAN Mistake. Too little to kill puppies.

MARZEILLE I’ve got the bag, I pick the puppies up again. The dog looks at the plastic bag. She whines. My dog starts whining, pacing all over and even starts pissing.