Une vie sur mesure (A tailor-made life)
Le Festival d’Avignon

Reviewer's Rating

It is 10:30 AM in Avignon. At this time of the morning, the city is still calm. But at the Théâtre des Gémeaux, it is crowded. Everyone wants to (re)discover the show which was nominated for the Molière of the best one-man show in 2016. A young man (Pierre Martin) enters on stage. Hardly lighted, he begins to tell us his story as a child could do it in the dark.

‘The good point with percussion is that you do not need the instrument to play’. These are the first words of the show. And then the character goes back to the sources of his passion for drums: the way he discovered rhythm, how he recreated an instrument with old packages of detergent, the refusal of his parents to understand his passion… Une vie sur mesure is not just a love declaration to percussion and music in general. It also evokes the problems everyone can be confronted with as a child or as a teenager: loneliness, school failure, the feeling of being different and misunderstood, parental violence, incapacity to communicate with the others…but also first loving emotions. But here this clever show avoids pathos to better deal with these harsh themes with humour, in an offbeat way. You roar with laughter, thanks to a brilliant text full of puns and to the interpretation of a very touching young actor, and at the same time, you are deeply touched.

Perhaps a sole criticism: at the very beginning of the show, I was wondering… Why does he have a microphone? Is it really necessary in such a small place considering the great energy of the actor? But a few minutes later, despite this device too much used nowadays, the magic happens.

The audience even applauds lots of times during the performance, after beautiful moments of grace when Pierre Martin shows us his mastery and especially his love for his drums. This performance is a breath of fresh air and should be seen by young and old! It is definitely one of the funniest and deepest show I ever saw.

Summary in French:
Sur la scène du théâtre des Gémeaux, Pierre Martin se glisse dans la peau d’un enfant passionné de batterie. De manière très touchante, il nous conte les origines puis l’évolution de sa passion contrariée par une famille peu aimante. Une vie sur mesure aborde aussi de manière décalée les souffrances d’un enfant puis d’un adolescent qui, loin d’être idiot, est juste… différent. Un spectacle à la fois drôle et profond, qu’il est urgent de (re)découvrir.