Photo: Marie-France Coallier The Duty
“I come up with an advanced text to 50%, where the scenario is developed, but the dialogue is not finished. And I work with actors, I shapes the characters for them. This creates a unique universe, I find, and it brings the realism that I search for. I try to write for the theatre that takes life under our eyes, a theatre of the present moment,” explains Mathieu Quesnel.
It is a role that the actor assumes more and more in recent years : that of an author and stage director. It has been discovered, especially by The’love is a dumpling and Je am mixed , which leaves a tour in quebec next fall — both created at The Unicorn.
“I’ve always written, but my preceding texts had not been selected by the theatres,” explains Mathieu Quesnel. His writing has had to go through a process of maturation. “I started with the pleasure of making me laugh myself. And with time, I realized that what I loved as a spectator, it was not only fun, but when we touch the subjects that were more serious. “
And one that already has three other pieces in his sight, including a comedy on the stock Exchange, has developed its own way of writing, that engages the performers. “I come up with an advanced text to 50 %, where the scenario is developed, but the dialogue is not finished. And I work with actors, I shapes the characters for them. This creates a unique universe, I find, and it brings the realism that I search for. I try to write for the theatre that takes life under our eyes, a theatre of the present moment. This forces the performers to really be there, to be the more real possible. I want my dramaturgy gives access to those magical moments that sometimes occur between the actors in rehearsals, but which do not necessarily occur later in the show But at the same time, I want to make the comedy clever, and I like that the game is ultra-realistic, even when it is totally crazy. In Trip, this is the case. “
The piece has been inspired to Mathieu Quesnel through his research on Ken Kesey, while the actor played in the stage adaptation of his famous novel, Flight over the cuckoo’s nest. One of the instigators of the movement, psychedelia, the writer was surrounded by a band of artists called the Merry Pranksters — immortalized by Tom Wolfe in his book, Acid Test — with which he criss-crossed the United States aboard a bus in 1964. This group of counter-culture, which had the ” philosophy of not belonging to any movement that attempted to unravel the codes “, included musicians from the Grateful Dead and Neal Cassady, mythical figure of the beat generation.
The “Lads” were first consumed a lot of LSD, before that the substance does not become ” too mainstream “, and then have sought to reach this level of consciousness without drugs. “The artists of this time were in a spiritual quest. And this desire to find meaning, it can be found in my show. It tries to give a meaning for the friendship, the love, the collective projects. I think this show of gang vehicle the envy of adventures collective, the face of the world quite individualistic in which we live. “
In this ” comedy hallucinogen “, which brings together no less than 16 performers almost constantly in the scene, Mathieu Quesnel wishes to experience a trip to the public. A kind of sensory journey. “I am inspired by the culture of the Pranksters, who were keen to the happenings in San Francisco in warehouses unused. But me, I invented a story, ” explains the author. Except that the story sometimes takes turns that are unexpected, with a freedom to surprise the viewer. I tried to make a show that is evolving in its structure, that changes in its form and dramaturgy in the course of the road. This show is really a kind of laboratory, which tries to propose a new form of theatre. “
If the author doesn’t want to give too much away, his evolutionary scenario first shows a kind of self-help group in the process of mounting a show. A performance ritual of making ” homage to the values of non-conformist of the 1960s “, one reads in the press release. Then an event bifurcates the narrative.
“It mostly follows Lucy [Amélie Dallaire], who is dead, and goes to the magnifying glass of the major events of his life, in order to know if it can or not to terminate their cycle of reincarnation… I wanted to make a comedy symbolic, with very realistic and very mystical. “
Trip addresses several themes through all the characters, some of whom have had the past very difficult. “There’s a journey in the show, which transports us from one bubble to another. But all bubbles have a meaning in relation to the quest of postage staff of the protagonist, a modern woman, sapiosexuelle (attracted to intelligence). The 1960s, it was the beginning of the opening to another way of living her marriage, her sexuality. “
The creator finds a renewed interest in this era. He himself has already gone through a phase ” very hippie “. “Before entering the Conservatory of dramatic art, I spent two years in the Okanagan valley, British Columbia. I have adhered to this mode of life, with few possessions, consuming the least possible, while living in a tent all summer, he notes, laughing. It comes down to it, through the environment. “
The fact that this big happening is created in the room Gravel-Ronfard influence its dramaturgy, ” says its author. “It gives me a permission, a freedom, because his audience is used to it. “How can he surprise these spectators customary experiments ? Free space is a place where one ” can test a theatricality “, he adds.
Mathieu Quesnel notes that theatrical writing has been influenced by the cinema, for several years. “It is true that it is trillant, the ultraréalisme in the theatre. But the wave-there is a little bit exhausted, I found. It is necessary to return to the theatricality. This is what we are trying to do with Trip. “
With this show, which incorporates video (he went to film a couple of plans in San Francisco), live painting and a music Navet confit, the creator signs her staging the most elaborate so far. The ambitious adventure is risky, he acknowledged, but he finds the art world today, a little chilly before the projects break-neck. It is, among other things, what he loved in the 1960s : the entrepreneurship of art.
“We see high-quality works here. But it seems that the large companies or the tv stations want to project hot, but without leaving the range of freedom or time necessary to achieve this. “
Mathieu Quesnel is estimated that it cares too much to present a completely finished first. “Of course, here, one is forced to make the best show, the fastest. This made sure that we made the choice to conform, because they are afraid that it doesn’t work. Me, I like it better than the viewers have the impression that something is created in front of them. “
Text and staging : Mathieu Quesnel. With Sarianne Cormier, Amélie Dallaire, Stéphane Demers, Myriam Fournier, Marie-Claude Guérin, Yves Jacques, Sharon James, Simon Lacroix, Joanie Martel, Frédéric Millaire-Zouvi, Olivier Morin, Turnip Confit, Sylvie Potvin, Philippe Racine, Francis William Rhéaume and Léa Simard. A production of Productions Tôtoutard. In free Space, from 6 to 21 march.