AVIGNON OFF: La Musica Deuxième by Margurite Dura

            The complexities of a divorced couple’s relationship are an often tapped well. Margurite Dura’s La Musica Deuxième was first published in Paris in 1985, twenty years after writing La Musica.  Consider putting the work in the context of a quiet Albee play.  While there is the undeniable feeling of “Haven’t we been here before,” Guillemette Laurent’s deconstructive staging makes such a return merited. 

Starting at a table with the text in hand Catherine Salée and Yoann Blanc establish the setting of this meeting in a provincial hotel.   Over the course of the hour 15-minute performance they drudge up the past, share future plans, and confess their fears, their hate, and their love for one another.   Laurent’s staging sleekly establishes the world.  She transitions the audience from reading, to realist play, and to theatrical deconstruction.  Her subtle use of lighting design grounds the action.  It also helps to frame the hidden complexities of this couple’s circumstances.

Catherine Salée and Yoann Blanc deliver this couple in a stilted quality.  They perform at once live and literary figures.  The result is an intimacy through a warped magnifying glass. Christine Grégoire and Nicolas Mouzet-Tagawa’s set and costume design present the sleep but drab cold control of affluent society.  Julie Petit-Etienne’s lighting left ample room for Laurent’s tangible sense of construction while simultaneously creating a world in which the characters on stage can exist.

La Musica Deuxième is in performance at the Théâtre des Doms at 10:30.

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