This is the opening weekend of the play Erzuli Dahomey, déesse de l’amour [Erzulie Dahomey: Goddess of Love; written by Jean-René Lemoine and directed by Nelson-Rafaell Madel] at the Aimé Césaire Theater in Fort-de-France, Martinique. The next show is tonight at 7:30pm. France Antilles features the young and talented actor and director Nelson-Rafaell Madel, who returns to his native Martinique with the staging of the play. France Antilles reports:
Nelson-Rafaell Madel divides his career between the stage acting and theater production: “I need both elements because one feeds the other. I am still young in this job, so I need to learn, to feed myself from various experiences. Theater production is part of it.”
And when this talented young man (we saw him recently in “The Little Prince” and the excellent “Andromache”) directs, is it happening on stage? He smiled: “Never! These are two complementary but separate exercises. I would not be able to direct myself. And I also need the intimacy that is created between the director and his actors, which would not be possible if I am both at once!
How was the idea of the play born?
“The first play I saw when I arrived in Paris was “Face à la mère” by Jean-René Lemoine. I was so shaken that I read all his plays, until I came across “Erzuli Dahomey, déesse de l’amour.” It was obvious, I had to stage it.”
“Because it had everything that my theater work approaches. The play deals with geographical exile and self-exile. It speaks about how one forgets one’s own desires but also how to reconnect with one’s deep desires.” [. . .]
And he continues: “I like to speak about difficult things, drama, violence seen through the prism of laughter. I love the grotesque side that raises real questions.
“Real questions like?
“Like the clash of cultures, slavery, exile, restrained anger. In the play, we have a Haitian woman and a Senegalese woman confronted with a perfectly bourgeois white French family. It is the re-enactment of Édouard Glissant’s tout-monde.”
The play received the Young Directors award at Théâtre 13 in Paris.
For tickets contact: 0522.214.171.124. or 0696.22.07.27.
For full article (in French), see http://www.martinique.franceantilles.fr/actualite/culture/de-l-exil-geographique-a-l-exil-de-soi-401478.php