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Paradise : comme suspendu dans le vide
Lolita Monga
Actes du théâtre n° 64.[ imprimer ]


for age 14 and over

A wall and the ocean all around. Coco, Solo, Lino, Espérance, Sosso and their cases of meat, dogs howling, the radio shooting out a thousand darts, and the disappearance of the little checkout assistant whose body people scour the sea for. The face of the neighbourhood has changed – all you can see is the supermarket surrounded by huts and new two-storey houses. But the consumer dream soon died. The same old stuff goes on, your head whirrs and you go home in a trance, and the sun rains down on people’s heads like an insult. And what do you do with your anger? In solos, duets and trios, in song and a final chorus, a small group decides to tell all about what’s biting them – fear and shame. Whether they like it or not, the characters’ lives are inextricably linked to the business park that gives them a living while also killing them.

Why the Reading Committee chose the Play: We were dazzled by the flamboyant language and amazingly inventive poetry of this play, which calls up or even calls for a creolisation of the world. The story doesn’t develop along the expected lines and that is what makes it so powerful, so strange and so original. This play is a landscape, a climate and sensations. Lolita Monga rejects any tendency to dwell on the sordid side of life as she talks about people who are poor but alive. Humour, musicality and poetry are her weapons. The energy of youth is everywhere – in the dreams of faraway places that sustain people, in their life-force, in the sense of solidarity that survives despite the conflicts.

Author’s comments: “I was pushing a shopping trolley around a supermarket. I was in the frozen foods section and although the outside temperature was 35°C, I was chilled to the bone. I was rushing to the till when I caught sight of a little checkout assistant. She was all pale and was obviously cold too. Her expressionless face pierced my heart. Oddly there were very few people at her till. (…) Images and stories to be shared, and the magic that is so deeply rooted in Réunion culture; it’s those moments that inspired the characters in Paradise. The Happy Families game, wordplay and language games, things that go unsaid, playing cat and mouse with life, with the sounds of the city and the radio in the background shooting out a thousand darts… I pulled my writing chair up as close as I could to the pavement like a car ready to drive off. My head whirred around in my funny little head. While the pack of Bourbon dogs howled on the waste patch next door…

First performance at the Centre Dramatique de l’Océan Indien in 2011 directed by the author.

Characters : 2 women - 3 men -
Théâtrales en coédition avec Les Journées de Lyon des Auteurs de Théâtre - www.editionstheatrales.fr

Sorry, no extract for this play.