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La Factory

Orphelins
Le Festival d'Avignon
4.0Reviewer's Rating

Liam, a young man aged 20 years, covered in blood, enters his sister’s apartment while she is having an intimate dinner with her husband. He tries to give a coherent explanation to the couple, but he slips deeper and deeper into a web of lies. Gradually, the terrible truth appears to Helen and Dany. How far can we go to protect one’s family? Could we go so far as to lie to the authorities and to abandon one’s moral values?

Those are the questions raised by this family thriller in camera. This chilling huis-clos staged by Caroline Marcos well expresses the political dimension of Dennis Kelly’s play. There, the personal tragedy meets the social one and reveals several plagues of the 21st century: the fear of the other (and especially of the foreigner), the temptation of jihadism, manipulation on the Internet, urban insecurity, and more.

The characters are very well interpreted by these three young actors. Maxime Bouteraon plays Liam in a very frightening way, as a parasite both disturbing and endearing. His relation to his sister Helen, brilliantly interpreted by Caroline Marcos, is even more troubling because she also plays the role of her mother (in a quite incestuous way?). Helen remains for me the most interesting character of the play, the one who leads us to deeply question dedication for one’s family and attitude toward law and morals. Ready to do everything to save her little brother, she does not hesitate to “sacrifice” her husband by forcing him to betray his ideals. Augustin Bouchacourt then well interprets the honest husband caught in the tragic mechanism and finally corrupt to the core.

At the very end, there is absolutely no escape for those condemned characters: the outside is fearsome, and the so-called “family cocoon” becomes even more hostile. Thanks to a simple but effective staging, the result is one of the most oppressive modern tragedy.

Summary in French:
Alors qu’Helen dîne en tête-à-tête avec son mari, son jeune frère Liam rentre chez eux couvert de sang. Il tente de leur donner des explications mais se perd peu à peu dans ses propres mensonges… Jusqu’où peut-on aller pour protéger sa famille ? Ce thriller à huis clos interroge brillamment quelques uns des fléaux de notre siècle : entre peur de l’étranger, tentation du djihadisme et insécurité urbaine, tous les ingrédients sont réunis pour former une des plus belles tragédies des temps modernes.

  • Written by Dennis Kelly
  • Directed by Caroline Marcos (Compagnie Navaquesera)
  • Cast: Augustin Bouchacourt, Maxime Bouteraon, Caroline Marcos
  • La Factory

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