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Réparer les vivants
Maylis De Kerangal and Emmanuel Noblet
Réparer les vivants
Actes du théâtre n° 93.

Réparer les vivants is a novel about a heart transplant: how a heart that belonged to Simon, 19, can replace one that belonged to Claire, 50, after a riveting race against time. A human chain racing to achieve this feat of modern medicine in 24 hours. A private and collective adventure around an organ that is the symbol of life and the center of all our emotions.

"I never doubted this proposal even though it was
paradoxical — that there could be any sense in one actor embodying a whole group in action, that one person's body could catalyze the multiple at work in such a transfer. On the contrary, it seemed to me that Emmanuel Noblet's intuition was grounded in a deep understanding of the text, in its intrinsic truth: he would be the narrator of this contemporary epic, he would also be the chorus, reconnecting the novel to a time when literature was a poem carried by voices, transmitted by voices, immediately
reconnecting the novel to theater.
What I like about this project is precisely how he
creates voices, how he embodies them, focusing and
using them as waves of meaning, like lines
of force. The words then have the effect of actions.
Furthermore, these voices place Emmanuel Noblet's project within an act of listening — including
our own active listening in the theater.
Speaking/listening/acting: this adaptation radically
places the body center stage. The actor's body here is an echo chamber and a form of movement, a choreography of movements. What's really beautiful in the idea of this solo is that the actor's body becomes the site of a physical, and even athletic performance — renewing the physical "performance" of transplanting — and that at the same time it reveals all the bodies at work in this story one by one, diffracting presences. What moves me in Emmanuel
Noblet's proposal is that the actor can become like a heart, a migrating human heart and the anima motrix of a theatrical act."
Maylis de Kerangal

Director's Note
"Organ donation is an act of absolute generosity. Given freely and anonymously, it grants life itself. And it is often a choice made at the moment of greatest pain, by loved ones around a body that seems to be asleep. The question that must then be asked is a real societal choice, one of the possible responses being heroic and secret altruism. The total opposite of currently held concepts.
With the suspense and swiftness characterizing our era, Maylis de Kerangal gives us a story that reconciles finitude and human genius. Her words convey a great life force that has to be passed from brain to brain and from heart to heart. Repairing the living was already in Chekhov, it simply needed transplanting into today's theater."
Emmanuel Noblet

Opened at the 2015 Avignon Festival. Revived at the Théâtre du Rond-Point in September 2016. Then on a long tour around France. Based on the novel by Maylis de Kerangal. Adapted, staged and performed by: Emmanuel Noblet. With the collaboration of: Benjamin Guillard. Lighting and video: Arno Veyrat. Sound creation: Sébastien Trouvé. Sound designer: Cristián Sotomayor. Stage manager: Johan Allanic. Voices by: Maylis de Kerangal, Alix Poisson, Vincent Garanger, Benjamin Guillard, Constance Dollé, Stéphane Facco, Évelyne Pelerin, Anthony Poupard, Olivier Saladin, Hélène Viviès.

Characters: 1 men -

" — We're here to remember Simon, the person he was; the process of harvesting an organ always involves singular individuals; you have to think it over together, for instance, you might wonder if Simon was religious or if he was a generous person. — Generous? — Yes, generous, what he was like in his relationships with other people, if he was curious, if he traveled, you have to ask yourself those questions. — There is one thing, we're Catholic, Simon was baptized. — Was he religious? Did he believe in the resurrection of the body? — I don't know, we're not regular churchgoers. — Exerting himself, that was important to Simon, he was physical, that's it, that's what he was like. — Is that what being generous means? — I don't know, maybe. — It's a load of crap that business about generosity, it's too easy, what if I told you Simon was selfish would that end the interview? Just tell us if we can say no!" "Simon's heart was migrating to another part of the country, his kidneys, liver and lungs were going to different provinces, heading to other bodies. What would remain of his son after all that splitting up? What would happen to his presence, to the image he left behind? What would become of Juliette's love when Simon's heart started beating again in an unknown body?"