Ranger les Zumains / C’est le Principe

Reviewer's Rating

The best of worlds is on a quest to discover the identity of our world today.

Part of the festival of French cutting-edge theatre “Voila!”, the two contrasting short plays examine contemporary society in a critical and playful manner. Both inspired from the seminal Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, they attempt to make sense of our place in the world.

In Ranger les Zumains (“Tidying up Zumans”), two attached orange and one purple extra-terrestrial beings discuss the different methods to deal with the newly arrived humans on their planet: while the former advocate freedom, the later believes in strict organisation classifying them according to gender, size, colour, or character. He finds however that all types of categorisation encounter its own problems in controlling human behaviour. The laisser-faire approach, on the other hand, leads to starvation and war.

While the flamboyant costumes, emotional gestures and dynamic dialogue make this thought-provoking discussion together humoristic, dreamy and deeply engaging, the ideas are made more palpable and relevant to the world around us through the projections of films. In a very efficient, yet suggestive manner, we find ourselves laughing while questioning extreme consumerism and our educational conditioning.

The second play, C’est le Principe (“It is the Principle”), takes up on the idea of restrictive “education” and applies it in a more observational manner to the indecency of TV-reality. With the most convincing TV producer one could hope for, the audience is itself placed in the position of viewers of a show which tries “to repair” couples in crisis, yet witnesses its falling-down.

A great anti-dote to the lack of delicacy in TV-reality!