To adapt Wajdi Mouawad for marionettes: here we stand sceptical. Assoiffés (literally «Thirsty») was created in 2007 at the Théâtre Le Clou in Montréal, which caters mostly for a young audience. It’s bold, risky and the result can be anything.

We sit across the stage from Brice Coupey, a pregnant Fanny Catel who turns out to embody young Norvège perfectly and Ladislas Rouge. Tagging along with them is a disheveled Murdoch puppet and Boon, the author-narrator who will ultimately round everything off.

Murdoch's puppet, live-sketching by Araso
Murdoch’s puppet, live-sketching by Araso

In this version, Compagnie L’Alinéa’s virtuosity comes to support a dramatically strong piece of writing. Teenage hood is a theme cherished by Wajdi Mouawad which he had addressed throughout his work. This time is a fragile transition that «the devastating effects of a world deprived of beauty » are threatening the most, when an unquenched «thirst for love, for trust, for meaning» leads to suicide, whether intellectual or physical.

Just like in Inflammation du Verbe Vivre, writing is depicted as a vital necessity. To bring the word of the Dead to the Living, and also because «beauty when left un-nurtured hardens and becomes ugly». Norvège brilliantly illustrates it by starting as a piece of card, becoming a corpse and turning into flesh again. Unmissable.

Brice Coupey manipulating Murdoch's puppet, live-sketching by Araso
Brice Coupey manipulating Murdoch’s puppet, live-sketching by Araso

Illustrations © Araso

Performance seen at the Mouffetard – the theatre for the Art of Marionnette between January 17th and 28th 2017, alongside an exhibition by Brice Coupey of the artworks testifying of the play’s genesis.

Assoiffés will be shown again in the theatre Berthelot of Montreuil on February 1st and 2nd 2017.