© Doisne Studio Photo

Le Festival d’Avignon

Reviewer's Rating

When you enter the performance hall of the Gilgamesh Belleville, you are welcomed by the organiser of the wedding: “Come on, ladies and gentlemen, sit down please, the ceremony is about to begin.” He immediately lets us into the secret: the king and the queen (Hamlet’ uncle and mother) are going to enter in a second, we have to applaud them and to call for a speech.

Thanks to this original beginning, I directly enter in Shakespeare’s universe of Hamlet. I hardly felt the shift from the contemporary language used by the organiser to the one of an author who died four centuries ago! This subtle transition is mostly due to the clever adaptation made by Jérémie Le Louët. In an interview, he says that he first cuts some passages of the original text and then, “on stage, [the actors] create some gaps where [their] words mingle with Shakespeare’s ones.” This interesting approach results in a “mixed and “collaborative” writing: the author is a “collaborator as well as the actors of the show.” On stage, an organised disorder reigns. To remind us that it is just an illusion, all the stage devices are visible: the backstage, the video device, the props which are going to be used… Everything is ready for this “macabre party.”

The actors are remarkable. I obviously think to Jérémie Le Louët embodying a crazy and touching Hamlet, but also to Dominique Massat who plays both the queen Gertrude and Ophelia with a great sincerity.

This interpretation of Hamlet reminds us the very comic aspect of Shakespeare’s play, which sometimes disappears behind the tragic one. Even if the denouement is, for me, weakens by too much irony and self-mockery, this staging breathes nonetheless a new life into this hugely famous play. It especially gives rise to a very funny moment when Hamlet is interrupted in his famous monologue “to be or not to be…”, because, of course, everyone knows it.

Summary in French:
Ssur la scène du Gilgamesh Belleville, Jérémie Le Louët adapte et met en scène la célèbre tragédie d’Hamlet, ou l’histoire d’une vengeance avortée. La compagnie des Dramaticules parvient à donner un nouveau souffle à cette pièce portée maint et maint fois à la scène. Entre détournement des scènes les plus célèbres, mise en scène déjantée et revendication de l’illusion théâtrale, la tragique histoire d’Hamlet a tout d’une tragédie des temps modernes.