Angélica Liddell shakes the Palais des Papes on the opening of the Avignon Festival | Culture | EUROtoday

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The rain broke out in the course of the afternoon, however the sky miraculously cleared in time. The Avignon Festival, Europe's most prestigious performing arts present, opened this Saturday for the primary time in its 78-year historical past with a present in Spanish, the visitor language of this version. It was not the primary time in Avignon for its creator, Angélica Liddell, revered on the French occasion since her debut in 2010 with The home of energy y The yr of Ricardo, nevertheless it did mark its premiere on the principle stage: the courtyard of honor of the monumental Palace of the Popes. He didn’t miss the chance to organically combine it into his new work till it made it tremble. Nor to display why she and nobody else ought to be chosen to star in that historic second. Her radical, fascinating and provocative theater introduced a very good a part of the viewers again to their ft.

Angélica Liddell mentioned this morning in a chat with EL PAÍS that what occurred final night time is the perfect factor that has occurred to her in her skilled life. Not solely as a result of he inaugurated the Avignon Festival, however as a result of no stage has been as inspiring as that courtyard of honor. So linked is her new present to that house that she must contact up some scenes when she takes it on tour: in three weeks to the Grec Festival in Barcelona and subsequent season to Madrid, Paris and Liège. “But the building has such a symbolic load that I couldn't give up including it in the work,” she acknowledged. That is exactly what’s being valued most in Avignon: few creators have used it with such brilliance.

Another scene from the show.
Another scene from the present.Christophe Raynaud de Lage (AVIÑÓN FESTIVAL)

The play begins with the stage nearly empty. Red-lined ground, a urinal, a rest room, a bidet, a jug and two rows of wheelchairs on the edges. The first scene is a lesson in methods to begin a present with a bang. An interpreter dressed as a Pope thoughtfully crosses the scene, his shadow multiplying on the Gothic partitions, maybe evoking the spirits of those that reigned in that palace. An distinctive time tunnel. Suddenly lights come on behind the home windows that dot the again wall and ghostly silhouettes are glimpsed. Four males in black fits kiss the bottom with the traditional gesture of the pontiffs. Electronic music performs at full quantity, it resonates within the chest. All the demons that torment Angelica Liddell appear to be celebrating a coven. Pure stage poetry.

She had already warned about it in interviews previous to the premiere: that is about previous age, ghosts, sickness and loss of life. The title of the present additionally foretold it: Damon. Bergman's funeral. These are the terrors that run by the newest works of Angélica Liddell. “It all has to do with my fear of decrepitude. I have experienced it with my parents and at 58 years old I feel that she is getting closer to mine. “What am I going to do then with this body that I have pushed to the limit so many times on stage,” she pressured this morning. For now, the query stays unanswered.

Voodoo (3318 Blixen), The formidable work of just about six hours that he offered final fall on the Estación Alta competition in Girona, concluded with a staging of his funeral. The one he delivers now finally ends up recreating that of the Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, who wrote the script precisely how he needed it to be, in flip impressed by that of John Paul II. Layers and layers of which means that bounced particularly off the partitions of the Palace of the Popes, which through the Western Schism, between 1378 and 1417, housed a second Pontiff dealing with that of Rome.

Image from the first scene of 'Dämon. Bergman's funeral'.
Image of the primary scene of 'Dämon. Bergman's funeral.Christophe Raynaud de Lage (AVIÑÓN FESTIVAL)

But the difficulty right here is not only the terrors of Angelica Liddell. The artist shamelessly exposes her personal after which provokes the general public's with a fierce diatribe. First he assaults the French theater critics by studying excerpts from her “offenses” towards her in a pocket book just like the one wherein Bergman wrote down his, citing her names and the medium the place every textual content was revealed. she. The spectators appear amused, however she instantly turns to them: “Aren't you afraid of the disease? What will you do when you are bodies full of festering sores? Aren't you terrified of death? What if someone came in here now with machine guns and started shooting at us all?

Parliament is eschatological and annoying, but you have to climb that mountain to better appreciate the peak of the spectacle. Everything precipitates like illness and death. A line of elderly people enter and sit in the wheelchairs. The men in black run with a stretcher which she then climbs onto. Two bodies hang from the back wall and the ghosts from the windows return. Naked young women display their freshness. A child in a wheelchair. The Pope in a wheelchair. The scenario is a nightmare crossed by a question: when am I going to die?

Calm comes with Bergman. Angelica Liddell sits and talks to him in front of a coffin identical to the one the filmmaker requested for his funeral, which in turn was like that of John Paul II. An austere model in the centre of the great Palace of the Popes rebelling against the demon of vanity. When the applause breaks out, the rain begins again.

Angélica Liddell, in the last scene of the play.
Angélica Liddell, in the last scene of the play.Christophe Raynaud de Lage (AVIÑÓN FESTIVAL)

Apart from the rain, the opening of the Avignon Festival had another unexpected guest: the day of reflection on the early French legislative elections. Fear of the victory of Marine Le Pen's far right was reflected in the form of a rally outside the Palais des Papes a few hours before the premiere of Angélica Liddell, called by show business unions to express their rejection of discrimination, racism and social regression. Around two hundred people gathered.

The director of the festival, the Portuguese Tiago Rodrigues, had previously expressed the official position of the organization: “This has always been a popular, democratic, republican and progressive space.” This morning, in the course of election day, this has resulted.

All the tradition that goes with you awaits you right here.



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