Cousinons la Cousine

Théâtre de la Bastille, Paris, France, 1994
Author: Pierre Lartigue

about production

lmagine, that you come to a performance, where two ladies are reading the 16th century poetry in a foreign language, whilst they do not move from the table and this lasts for almost an hour. Still, I have seen in the Theatre de la Bastille, in bohemian streets not far from the famous Opera House bearing the same name, the most avant-garde Parisian stage production of my month-long stay in Paris.

Gallant verses are not served by young, nubile beauties, but by mature women. With sensitivity, cultivated over the years, these ladies have acquired a position allowing them to treat the poetry about love and death with ease and play fullness – to sing it, whisper it, shout it, to declaim it.... Through the voice both actresses explore their psychological and physical attributes. Whilst we are not talking about sliding along the surface. Maybe this non-classical form is for them the only form, which has dignity, the only form which can express the depth and variety of their personal and acting experience.

Welcome to the matriarchal kingdom where the complicated scenic construction is full of pull eyes and pictures (and controlled exclusively from the table) only an excuse far creation of the most basic signs – dripping water from the dress into the bucket, the sound of a light bulb breaking in a bin... And the sounds created right at the table, stones, seeds, scratching, rattling, clinking.... Human voice is merging with natural sounds because, after all, it belongs to them and airy, fresh and gay concert for our inner ecology is born.

Anna Grusková


adaptation: Pierre Lartigue
music: Georges Aperghis
stage set: Yvett Rotsche
lighting design: Daniel Lévy
cast: Edith Scob, Martine Viard