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Upstaged

Upstaged

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Upstaged

Longitud:
51 página
45 minutos
Publicado:
Jun 14, 2011
ISBN:
9781564786579
Formato:
Libro

Descripción

Two minutes into the second act, there is a knock on Nicolas Boehlmer's dressing-room door, just as he's smoking his last cigarette before having to go back on stage . . . and, without thinking, he says, “Come in,” still in character. He quickly finds himself bound, gagged, and stripped by a man who appears to be his mirror image: costumed in the same wig, make-up, and clothes. Nicolas is powerless to prevent his usurper from going out and playing his role—with increasingly ridiculous consequences. Is this “upstaging” the act of a depraved amateur? Sabotage by a rival? A piece of guerrilla theater? A political statement? Whatever the cause, Nicolas and his fellow actors soon find their play—and their lives—making less and less sense, as the parts they play come under assault by this irrational intruder.
Publicado:
Jun 14, 2011
ISBN:
9781564786579
Formato:
Libro

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Upstaged

A NOVEL BY Jacques Jouet

TRANSLATED AND WITH AN AFTERWORD BY LELAND DE LA DURANTAYE

Originally published in French as La Scène usurpée

by Éditions du Rocher, 1997

Copyright © 2000 by Éditions du Rocher

Translation copyright © 2011 by Leland de la Durantaye

All rights reserved

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Jouet, Jacques.

[Scène usurpée. English]

Upstaged / Jacques Jouet; translated and with an afterword by Leland de la

Durantaye.--1st ed.

p. cm.

ISBN: 978-1-56478-574-9

I. De la Durantaye, Leland. II. Title.

PQ2670.O926S3413 2011

843’.914--dc22

2011006262

Partially funded by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency

Ouvrage publié avec le concours du Ministère français chargé de la culture – Centre national du livre

This work has been published, in part, thanks to the

French Ministry of Culture – National Book Center

www.dalkeyarchive.com

Contents

Begin Reading

Afterword

On Tuesday March 9th our eighth performance of Going Out to the People, written and directed by Marcel Flavy, was disrupted. Even now, it’s extremely difficult to say whether this was unfortunate—either for us or for the audience. In any event, this disturbance was so artfully concealed from the public eye that the hallowed reputation of our national theater suffered no injury. Were it not for the professionalism of all involved—including, to be fair, the source of the disturbance himself—this would never have been possible.

There is something misleading in what I just wrote. What March 9th’s audience saw was not actually Going Out to the People. Although they did not know it, although they could not know it, although there was no way for us to tell them, what they saw was far stranger.

For this to make any sense I need to begin at the beginning. Before I do, it is imperative that I stress that the following—indeed, somewhat contradictory—account was not written with the aim of assigning blame to any of the players in that night’s drama. It should be remembered that these were professional artists violently shaken from their usual routines. There can be no doubt that for the duration of the crisis they performed to the best of their abilities. Taking sides for or against any of them would be not only inappropriate, it would be unfair. So as to be as absolutely explicit as possible: this document is offered with no other aim than the edification of a noble profession.

On the evening in question, the theater was filled to three-quarters of its full capacity (of eight hundred and fifty seats). In addition to the tickets sold, four complimentary press passes had been issued, two of which were redeemed. Alexandre Botsinas of The Morning Republic was to be found in his customary front-row seat, a notepad in his lap, the text of the play in hand. (I note these details as they were to prove not without importance.) Of the other journalist present nothing much need be said. Famed for his long critical naps, he was, in point of fact, actually asleep for the better part of the performance.

Act One proceeded as planned. Jean-François Ernu and Sylvestre Pascal-Bram breezed through its forty-five minutes in a mere forty-two—an acceleration that Marcel Flavy, the play’s author and director, had demanded after a lethargic Sunday matinee performance. This picking up of the play’s pace was made without notable cuts to the text, although a number of not-so-pregnant silences were filled. At this quickened rate, the dialogue between the head of state and his principal advisor was filled with new energy. When the President of the

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