The Guardian

Thrash-metal EU history, exile tales and François Hollande light up Avignon

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The Palais des Papes’ cat prowls through Pascal Rambert’s show, Christiane Jatahy sensationally channels Homer and the former French president makes a surprise appearance‘We are entering a time we had not imagined.” So intone several characters during Pascal Rambert’s vast and flabby Architecture (★★★☆☆), which opens this year’s Avignon festival in the cour d’honneur at Palais des Papes. Rambert – who writes, directs and designs – has his nine characters explore the brutal decline of a turn-of-the-century Viennese Jewish family. The show is posited as a warning of history repeating itself today, and – at four hours long – it is developed in panoramic breadth, each member of the ensemble cast being given a lengthy star turn. Despite the extraordinary talent on view (Emmanuelle Béart, Stanislas Nordey and Denis Podalydès are thrilling), the result is vacuous. The cataclysmic ending – played in a meta-shift to a chummy rehearsal room setting – is a navel-gazing copout after such a lengthy build-up.Only Pamplemousse, the site’s cat-in-residence, seemed to sense the mood correctly, making a slow diagonal prowl across the vast stage during a quiet scene, puncturing the pomposity and bringing things back down to Earth. Continue reading…

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Author : Andrew Todd

Publish date : 2019-07-08 19:00:29

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