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Playwrights Corner


Playwrights corner

Lancelot Hamelin Primeurs Festival | Jean Larriaga

« The 3rd Primeurs festival provided an opportunity for an initial partnership with our cultural radio department.

There are two reasons for this support from the
Primeurs is a young, contemporary French-language playwriting festival, and Annette Kührmeyer, who hosts these four days in November, is known for her interest in today’s playwrights, whose work she has frequently broadcast on Radio Sarroise.

The 2009 festival was indeed a special experience for the French-language playwrights in this region, which ‘‘turned’’ bilingual due to the consequences of Franco-German history. Yes, in Sarrebrück people speak and hear both languages. This was the first surprise at these meeting in the land of Hörspiel.
Every evening the large audiences at the Staatstheater listened to a French play where the playwright was present and they could converse with him or her.

On the 19th it was a work entitled Le Plan Américain by Quebec playwrights Evelyne de la Chenelière and Daniel Brière. Their satirical tragicomedy on the modern family was recorded live for SR2 by Marguerite Gateau.
A unique experience arose on the 20th. On one side of the stage they were performing Jean-Paul Wenzel’s
Loin d’Hagondange in German, echoed in French on the other side with Faire Bleu, written twenty-five years earlier by the same playwright. Criss-crossing in this way, the short scenes shed light on one another, abolishing time, and the two languages united in a powerful theatrical experience.
Then there was Carine Lacroix with
Burn Baby Burn (staged in 2010 at the Studio théâtre de la Comédie Française), followed by Canadian Olivier Choinière’s Félicité, presented at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Lastly, there was Marion Aubert’s Orgueil, poursuite et décapitation, a hysterical family comedy. Primeurs has the distinction of recruiting its audience-member jury from among non-professionals in Sarrebrück – by application! The Prize for Best Playwright went to the Quebec couple who wrote Le Plan Américain, broadcast on the Radio.
The festival’s top-quality organization can be attributed, in addition to the Staatstheater management, to SR2 Kultur Radio and the Institut d’études françaises de Saarbrück. It was an excellent idea to bring together playwrights and students who had read, written about and posed challenging questions regarding their plays – a great way of bringing their writing alive offstage.

Primeurs 2009 was a useful partnership in terms of contacts, and for promoting the SACD repertoire internationally. As with all successful meetings, the follow-up is expected to be equally fruitful and creative. Suffice it to say that those days in November were full of promise for the next festival. Primeurs combines the pleasure of being close and distant neighbors. »

Jean Larriaga,
Director of Radio
January 2010
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