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“A La Française”

March 5, 2013


Two weeks ago, I went to the Marigny theater to see a play entitled “A La Française” created by the famous and full of energy French actor, Edouard Baer. The storyline is based on Edouard, playing his own role, who is asked, with his fellow comedians, to make up a show which will be represented during the G20, located in Paris. Indeed, his duty is to restore the prestige of his nation.

But despite what we could imagine, the play is nothing but funny. The burlesque aspect is mixing comic and baroque, leading us to a gale of laughter. Even though the play still tackles a few political issues, they are always subtly mentioned and surrounded by some jokes and puns. Moreover, what is really delightful about this play, is its fair, tender and a tad nostalgic poetry, a nonesuch characteristic of Edouard.

At the very beginning of the play, a man stands up from the crowd and complains because he cannot see Edouard Baer and fears that he will not come. The man actually plays the French Minister. A few seconds later, Edouard emerges from the back of the theater, fully applauded. He was the comedian that everyone was waiting for, especially the Minister in those times of economic crisis and social tensions.
Several mini shows appear in which the main comedian embodies both a farmer and Napoleon, and plays with clichés on Marianne or even Bécassine, without avoiding global touchy issues. To tackle tensions between Jews and Muslims, he improvises a song on interfaith friendship, and for those on suburbs issues, he plays a dandy in love with the “transcendent verticality” of towers. He  also stages the complexity of the French urban transport network, the size of our nuclear industry, the Eiffel Tower, our high end bottles of perfume, or even our 400 kinds of cheese.

a la francaise02

In a nutshell, even though Edouard Baer’s role can sometimes overwhelm his partners, his way of embodying the Master of Ceremonies showcases his unique talent.
The cast of the play also includes Lionel Abelanski, Alka Balbir, Leila Bekhti, Patrick Boshart, Philippe Duquesne, Léa Drucker, Jean-Philippe Heurteaut, Atmen Kelif, Jean-Michel Lahmi, Vincent Lacoste, Guilaine Londez and Christophe Meynet.

So if you want to relax for two hours, you can still see the play which is currently on tour all around France.


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