Drama in India : “Célimène et le Cardinal”

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On 5th December begins the tour of “Celimene and the Cardinal” in India, a play written and directed by Jacques Rampal. This is a contemporary play, but is thought to be the rest of a classic French theater: “The Misanthrope”, by Molière.

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin aka Molière

The Misanthrope was played for the first time in 1666. This is the story of Alceste, a young man who hates all the humanity, claims his hypocrisy, cowardice and compromise. But yet, he loves Celimene, flirtatious and slanderous. The virtuous begin a battle lost by advance that forced him to flee. This play was written by Molière, one of the greatest classics French playwrights, with Corneille and Racine. Classic plays are comedies (Molière) or tragedy (Corneille and Racine) written in verse, Alexandrian more precisely. A highly coded form, especially virtuoso.

The piece presented by French Alliance is the rest of this story. It is taking place 20 years after “ Misanthrope”. We find Celimene, always tidy and Alceste, the cardinal in himself. Both play the dangerous game of seduction, both funny and sensual, because even 20 years later, their feelings have not dried up. Have they changed too much to love each other again? But haven’t they also changed to love each other again? That one is married and the other Cardinal, will it be enough to silence what they felt for each other?

One would think it’s a play of Molière’s time. It takes place in the seventeenth century, with its lavish costumes and hand-carved furniture. The mentality is that of the time and love takes increasingly tortuous detours, because morality and religion play against him. Above all, the characteristic of the piece is that it follows the format of classical theater: unity of place, unity of time, unity of action, cutting in five acts and especially the verses. The French language is even more beautiful, musical and elegant. The piece is brought to life by the character Celimene, played by Gaelle Billaut-Danno and her amazing green eyes. Very well known in movies, television and especially the theater, she had her biggest success with plays of Tennessee Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire‘ and ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.’ But she was also seen as a comic actress at the television series ‘Do not do this, do not do that!’ A dual role which fits the play, alternating humor and seriousness. It is the same for the Cardinal, Pierre Azema, whose eye color has no reason to be envious of that of his co-star. His first successes were in theater, with the adaptation of one of the greatest French films: ‘The Rules of the Game’ (La Règle du jeu). But the people know him better through ‘PJ‘, a successful detective series and ‘Plus belle la vie‘, the most watched series in France.

A French language that Jacques Rampal, author and director, meticulously handled. The play won three “Molière”, the equivalent of the Oscars for the French theater and seven nominations including two for the author (best début, best writer). The team will tour and perform soon in the United States and several other countries.

We, at the Alliance Française, are proud call it the event of the year!

Dates :
5/12 at Delhi
7/12 at Kathmandu
9/12 at Kolkata
11/12 at Hyderabad
13/12 at Pondichéry
15/12 at Chennai
18/12 at Bhopal
20/12 at Jaipur
22/12  at Chandigarh

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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...