“The house of 67 languages”: an orgasm for peace in the Middle East

«La maison aux 67 langues»: un orgasme pour la paix au Moyen-Orient

Photo: Maxim Paré Fortin
Without erasing the drama of underlying, Jonathan Garfinkel has written a fable is ingenious, with several elements of the story symbolic of the political situation.

Who would have thought to see on our stages, a few months apart, two parts addressing the thorny israeli-palestinian conflict ? The text of the Canadian Jonathan Garfinkel submitted to The Unicorn, however, has little in common with Oslo, available at Jean-Duceppe last fall. Himself of jewish culture, the author of The house of 67 languages is acknowledge the absurdity of this tragedy, apparently insoluble, replayed for decades, through a kind of magical realism.

Played at Tarragon Theatre in 2009, but was created in French for the first time, thanks to a translation of François Archambault, the piece is based on a metaphor : the disputed territory is embodied in a house in Jerusalem, which both men claim the property. However, the remains meaningful to human body (tasty Violette Chauveau) was promised to each party.

A former israeli general (Daniel Gadouas) lives there with her son, a survivor rescued from the water on the Jordan river — at least that is the tale that he tells him. The logic of war “kill or be killed” professed by his father, the adolescent prefers to love. Or at least the… cunnilingus. Struck with an enlightenment character, camped by Gabriel Szabo with a conviction, a fresh and absolutely irresistible, did not budge : a revolution by the oral sex could save the Middle East.

Hits a day to the door of a university in palestine (Ariel Ifergan), who claims the house — it makes him a party — and locks himself in the bathroom. The two enemies come to a negotiated compromise, which involves writing the life of general. A story that may also be a mythology, and on which they do not agree. The hope may come from their progeny, respectively, tired of the lies, paternal…

Without erasing the drama of underlying, Jonathan Garfinkel has written a fable is ingenious, with several elements of the story symbolic of the political situation. He handles a mixture of genres or levels to be humorous — an occasional registry more trivial. Not obvious, to me, it seems, to find the tone that would allow this world to completely take flight.

Drawing her sitting in a region bathed in mysticism, in the vein of the whimsical found an incarnation quite delicious. So, this camel, which acts as the narrator, a philosopher (!) and to which Frédéric Desager lends the perfect sweetness. It also has the right to some beautiful scenes flirting with a oneiric poetry, inspired in particular by the prospect of an israeli astronaut.

The imagination, the power of evocation are also the responsibility of the production, directed by Philippe Lambert. Offered in a space stripped bare, a scene appearing in the field — a bit like a house yet to be built — in, it leaves it up to its correct distribution (which also includes the talented Alice Pascual and Mounia Zahzam).

Imagination : this is perhaps, after all, the key to achieving really understand the other, when each camp is locked up in his own suffering…

The house of 67 languages

Text by Jonathan Garfinkel. Translation of Francois Archambault. Directed by Philippe Lambert. Production of the company, don’t Panic. Until 23 march, and The Unicorn.

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