On “Charlie”, director Christian Denisart takes over the text and music of Daniel Keyes’ animated novel “The Flowers of Algernon”. To see at Théâtre Kléber-Méleau and then at Théâtre Benno Besson.
In their latest creation, “Charlie,” Les Voyages Extraordinaires has adapted “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes. The first new in 1959, it became a novel in 1966 and forever marked the genre of science fiction and literature in general.
Charlie, played by the talented Pascal Schopfer, is a thirty-two-year-old man of six years old. After being spotted by researchers, he agrees to participate in a scientific experiment, at the end of which his intellectual property increases dramatically.
After becoming a “genius”, Charlie finds it difficult to form normal relationships with those around him and find happiness. His fate is closely connected with that of Algernon, a white rat whose intelligence was increased by the same scientific experiment. He appears to be in decline and must prepare to continue his decline.
Blessed are the jurists
Christian Denisart read Daniel Keys many years ago. If the director admitted he’s slow to “soak,” Charlie’s wearing today may not have been a coincidence, in his augmented human time. Christian Denisart indique à ce propos sur la RTS qu’il se considère comme un homme augmenté depuis qu’il a un smartphone: “J’ai accès à tout, tout le temps. A part qu’il ne m’est pas greffé, It’s the same thing.”
Daniel Keyes’ text sheds poignant topical light on the commands of performance, profitability, and superiority, at the expense of a less exciting but happier humanity.
Because for the director, the fundamental question in the novel is timeless: it is a question of the conditions of happiness. In Charlie’s case, he eventually appears happier before his operation and his rise to a higher level of intelligence. Christian Denisart notes that some people with dementia, at some point anyway, seem to find happiness. “Do we agree to withdraw all our knowledge, our intelligence, if this is the access to happiness?”
Sound engineer and musician (founded the Sakarin group in 1989, which will have some success), Christian Densart has regularly included musicians in his shows since his first creation, “Journey to Pamukkale” in 2002. “Charlie” doesn’t. exception. On stage, seven actresses and actresses dance and sing with the voice of three musicians. One way to make a happy tragic story.
The director realizes that incorporating musicians into a play is a challenge, but the challenge is faced by violinist Annick Rudy, violinist Laurence Crevoisier and double guitarist Louise Knoble. The latter notes on RTS: “It defines my intent to play because it’s connected to something tangible, given there’s a story that comes to life. Not like in a concert where the intent is purely musical.”
From 1970s rock to American minimalism, via pop and baroque, the show’s soundtrack, written by Eight Hands to musicians and Christian Denisart, accompanies Charlie’s mental and emotional development. From the slow pace of the simple mind to the apotheosis of “genius”. From one isolation to another.
Interview by Anya Lively and Pierre-Philippe Kedir
Web conditioning: Sebastian Blanc
Charlie, until December 12 atin Renens and At Everdun on December 14-15, 2021.
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