© Sébastien Chambert
Polyphonic Variation of Oscar Wilde
Created in January 2011
"Salome is an opera, a polyphonic variation of the bond between art and nature." James Joyce
Being part of the few plays in French by an English speaking writer, "Salome" roved to be meteoric in terms of Wilde’s theatrical work. It is also one of the most representative writings of the “Decadent” movement, with its parodic intentions, tributes and the grinding of teeth. Themes are universal and timeless: temptation, faith, law. Consumed by the desire, the insanity and the hatred, the characters are pursued in their fantasies, following the example of Wilde himself, who in Court will have to answer to allegations of homosexuality.
"Everything that is love, crime, war or madness, theatre must give us this, if it wants to recover its sense of necessity". Antonin Artaud
The actor is often a prisoner of the literal meaning of words, entangled in syntax and psychology. Feeling is then conveyed in a demagogic, psychological and stereotypical way. "Salomé", through the persistent use of leitmotivs, breaks, silences, passionate monologues and violent “boulevard” breaks, resist whether a psychological or a conventional approach. I ask actors to be wary of official prosody, to trust the intensity of the verb and the musical breaths, but without formal posture, in order to account for the lunar isolation of the characters.
The precious poetry, the feverish sarcasm, the incandescent lyricism and the structure of the play nearing that of an Opera, serves as the ideal ground to question performing art. There are so many invitations of "sprechgesang" (spoken song), a "breath" that I have never stopped exploring since the creation of Les Dramaticules.
Jérémie Le Louët