« Le Père Noël est une ordure »
Currently at the Theatre Tristan Bernard in Paris, a black comedy in which the action takes place on Christmas Eve, in the Paris offices of an association « SOS distress friendship », to answer phone calls from people in « distress » to provide moral support.
The staging of Peter PALMADE and interpretation is provided in its « troop » by Loïc Blanco, Emmanuelle Bougerol Mary Lanchas, Nicolas Lumbreras, Benoît Moret, and Julien Ratel.
When we know the impressive success of this work in theater and in films, it’s quite a challenge -a successful one- to take over its two « glorious » predecessors as demonstrated by the public massive support of this new version which is warmly welcome by a majority of critics.
For the record:
The play had its gestation in 1979 before arriving, after several incidents, at its premiere October 17th, 1979 at the Splendid in Paris.
It was written, directed and interpreted by Josiane Balasko, replaced in the role by Anemone (Theresa), Thierry LHERMITTE (Pierre Mortez), Marie-Anne CHAZEL (Zezette), Gérard JUGNOT (Felix), Christian KEYBOARD (Katia ) and Bruno MOYNOT (Preskovitch).
The audience immediately co-opted the work, the « triumph » was immediate, which led the troupe to move first into another larger room, Gaite Montparnasse, where more than 200 performances will take place and then browse all of France successfully.
The film with the same title, the scenario based on the play and directed by Jean-Marie Poiré, released in theaters on 25th August 1982 with most of the same players, will also have the same success.
Theatre Tristan Bernard, seems aptly named, it bears the name of this famous man whose real name is Paul, born in 1866 and died in 1947, novelist, playwright, also known for his wit.
The reception of this property is not up: two performances of different pieces keep coming, one at 19pm and then another at 21 pm.The lobby is very small, so you first have to queue for half an hour, in the street, which is far from comfortable. Then, as the room empties almost at the start time of the next performance, the new show starts with more than 20 minutes late.
Despite these logistical issues, this comedy is an excellent time to relax and laugh, so do not sulk your pleasure.
By Jean-Marie Halper