22 avril 2024

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The ultimate contender

Somewhere, in the Massif Central, more precisely in Puy-de-Dôme, more precisely in Montaigut-le-Blanc, on a radiant Sunday in March, the village hall of this beautiful village was the scene of a considerable event , the representation of the play "L'ultime pretendante", written by Dominique Touzé, played by Fanny Caron, Emmanuel Chanal and the author.

2024. On a radiant Sunday in March, somewhere, in the Massif Central, in the heart of Puy-de-Dôme, more precisely in Montaigut-le-Blanc, the village hall of this beautiful village was the scene of an event considerable.

The performance of the play “L’ultime pretendante”, written by Dominique Touzé, performed by Fanny Caron, Emmanuel Chanal and the author.
A creation by the Wakan Theater of Clermont-Ferrand which is part of a vast historical study project entitled “Les Tréteaux dans le Massif”, carried out for two years by three historian-researchers on theatrical life in the Massif Central, from 1759 , date of opening of the first Massif theater in Clermont-Ferrand, in 1911.

For an hour and 45 minutes, the “three country actors” magically transport us almost three centuries back in time, to 1759.

Sylvia, a young “local actress”, learns that the Romainville Troupe has just moved into the very first “permanent theater” in Clermont-Ferrand.

She then decides to introduce herself to this Romainville, a successful actor, who will “put her to the test”.
What follows is a “crackdown” casting call, as the author explains, a titanic clash between the Leader of the troupe, sarcastic, contemptuous, and the Pretender, distraught at first, but who will find strength in herself. extraordinary allowing him to resist his torturer and to exist.

Sylvia’s audition turns out to be a merciless struggle, both funny and intensely emotional, a pretext for questioning the theater, the construction of the character, the relationships between the actors, underlining the preponderance of the text – let us point out the very beautiful writing of Dominique Touzé – and the demand for sincerity in the game.

This is what Romainville is looking for when he tells Sylvia what he would have liked to find in her, “her naked truth which would reveal the unfathomable depth of her being in the paroxysm of feeling”.

We are captivated by the subtle acting of the actors, the expressions, the gestures, the movements, but also the eloquent silences which punctuate the play to keep us in suspense until the end.

Let’s not forget Beaumesnil, “Priapist archaeologist actor”, Romainville’s faithful assistant, also his scapegoat, which will bring him closer to Sylvia, also persecuted by the seething Romainville…

The ultimate contender.
The play was performed from March 13 to 16 at the Cour des 3 Coquins in Clermont-Ferrand.

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