Interview with Jean Lambert-wild CDN
after ten years' writing, what place does crise de nerfs –parlez-moi d'amour– occupy in your journey? is this offering part of a logical progression?
I am following a logical process where each offering unveils an unknown and I reveal that, in fact, it is part of the following offering: between unknown knowns and known unknowns, I am nearing the end.
Crise de Nerfs –Parlez -moi d'amour– is the second of three Confessions. It is part of a whole, on which I have been working for a long time, which includes three Epics, three Confessions and three Melodramas. The first of the Confessions was entitled Grande Lessive de printemps. I produced it almost ten years ago now and it was a landmark event for me - one which overturned the little order that I was trying to introduce into my life. To finish this triple triptych, I will write a Dithyramb, which will be the key that unlocks the whole. When I reach the end, then I will rest! I have spent a great part of my life working on this project. Proofreading and editing all the written material for one offering takes me good two or three years.
does this group of epics, confessions and melodramas, which will end in a dithyramb have a title?
I have not been troubled by this question up to this point. However, if you allow me, I should be able to answer it in twenty-one years time. Whilst we are waiting, Crise de Nerfs –Parlez -moi d'amour– is a stage on the communal journey that Jean-Luc Therminarias and I have been engaged in for quite a few years. Our binomial has already produced Drumlike, Orgia, Spaghetti's Club… We created this show together and are trying to push back the frontiers of our questioning. We exchange questions and share experiences. We try to eliminate, little by little, the differences that can arise between two semantic fields so that one set of materials complements the other. The binomial operates alternately - first one of us is in the front line, then the other. This time, it's my turn. Most of the time, I write a skeleton plan on which to hang the narrative principle and Jean-Luc uses this to draw up a skeleton composition. After that, we both go off in search of poetic or musical material and everything gradually falls into place as each show is put on, since the musical score and the text's rhythm must be adjusted to the actor's voices. When the words are set, we have to find the framework and justification for their enunciation. Writing for the theatre thus takes place within a scenographic space hat I put into place after much discussion with my companions, but especially with Renaud Lagier, who from the very start, has looked after the lighting for every one of my projects.
the theme and skeleton of crise denerfs –parlez-moi d'amour– are shipwrecked individuals... who are they?
It isn't a theme, it's a feeling. I am the first shipwrecked person. My condition as a "poet" does not exclude me from the world in which I am living. I try to share a vision, a perception. I am affected by what I see in the world today. I want to stage a poetic translation. This is a shared shipwreck. I try to be stoical in my approach to things - it's not that serious, even if we are forced to cross vales of tears. I still hold out hope that we will often find things to amuse. I cultivate the humour of despair. Crossing this vale of tears in a diving suit is an excellent way to leave it…
crise de nerfs –parlez-moi d'amour– has no producer. the "direction", however, is unmistakeably yours. how do you differentiate this "direction" and your activities as a producer, since you have staged plays by pasolini, seneca, gombrowicz, bond…
I am not a producer - that is neither my function nor my role. I am a man of the theatre - moulded by my training and by my teachers. I do not fit the classic definition of a producer. Henri Taquet, the director of Granit to which I am associated artiste, said to me one day: "you need mules to bear prophets". The role of the mule suits me if this means that some actors are prophets! My approach to direction is closely linked to the work relationships found in Co-operative 326 that we created with Jean-Luc Therminarias. The Co-operative ran itself on nay lines. Everybody takes part in the discussions arising from each adventure. A captain is nominated who only holds on to his position because that is the will of the crew. If the captain fails to fulfil his role, the crew can get rid of him.
you mention a captain and a boat. in crise de nerfs –parlez-moi d'amour–, there is a diver and shipwreck victims… is this naval semantic field peculiar to ccrise de nerfs –parlez-moi d'amour– ?
I've missed my vocation ! I wanted to be a sailor, but I failed. I was born and spent a lot of my time of the island of Réunion. My horizon was the ocean - a boundless ocean that drew the gaze of everyone. It contained both the memory of things lost and the hopes of those still to be discovered. Next, I had to cross this ocean. This waterlogged horizon was a powerful element that gave my dreams wings. I have always seen water as an answer to everything.
water rather than writing?
In the eyes of the world and mankind, my writing is not that important. I chose the theatre because of its ephemeral nature. Poetic energy gives rise to emotions, shatter souls, but is only valid for a passing moment. Thinking for the moment - that suits me.
do you show shipwrecks? or is it a question of hearing the song of the shipwrecked?
We show a place of confinement. The spectators sit on four blocks arranged in terracing around a space four and a half metres square. It is a hospital room where an individual is evolving and growing a second skin that he believes will protect him against external and internal attacks. The actress Laure Thièry uses the inside xof this cocoon to project the nostalgia of someone shipwrecked. An attack of the nerves is a way of struggling, of throwing one's body into the struggle, said Pier Paolo Pasolini, so that one may find one's influences and what one sees. The struggle is our salvation - or mine, at least. But, my unavowed desire is still to talk about love, even if we are all incapable of communicating with each other.
is parlez-moi d'amour, an order? or a request ?
It's a prayer. An umbilical cord that carries sounds, air and fluids links the actress to a bed in the centre of the space. The bed speaks. At the end of the play, the actress tries to escape the confinement that she has created for herself and rips out this cord. At this moment, the bed tells her "Try to be happy!" The need for love must be taken on board by the person making the request. Are we sure that we will know what we want to hear when we say: Parlez-moi d'amour ? Love has to be worked at. The word "love" appears for the first time here in my writing. Until Crise de Nerfs –Parlez-moi d'amour–, I had never used the word
what is the link between marsyas, the name you gave to the "autonomous diver for actors" and your play?
There is a multitude of ways to read the myths, they are so rich. In this case, Marsyas discovers a musical instrument. He fears it, tries to master it and ends by playing it expertly. He dares to challenge Apollo at a musical competition judged by the Muses. he loses, and as punishment for his pride, is flayed alive. His pride causes him to loose his skin. He loses one of the main elements of humanity. Crise de Nerfs - Parlez-moi d'amour and the myth of Marsyas both have comments to make on our lives today, on these locations where, today, we are losing our skins. By wanting total control and challenging the gods, we risk losing our skins. We have a tendency to forget that our skin is essential and primordial. It is the surface of our water. We have so much water in us…it's a miracle that none of it leaks out...