Festival d’Avignon 13/14.07.2014


Moriarty on tour: « Griboïedov’s Burning Blues », Festival d’Avignon 13/14.07.2014.
At last, the southern sun. Avignon looks bright, agitated and idle at the same time. Stony city of Popes. The crisis of the intermittents runs throughout the whole thing like a needle. The shows are almost canceled in protest, then maintained at the last minute through hand votes. It’s a feeling of tension and uncertainty. The epicenter is close.
The project: to perform one hour of original music and drama, inspired by Bulgakov’s « Master & Margarita », on stage and on air at the same time. It’s all broadcast live on french national radio France Culture, from the Musée Calvet.
We walk in through a secret door in a back alley. The XVIIIth century courtyard is flooded with harsh sunlight, shaded in its center by four towering oak trees. Under the direction of Alexander Plank we rehearse for hours on the sizzling hot stage, uniting with the novel, the evening summer heat at the edge of the Patriarch’s Pond. Geoffrey Carey effortlessly turns into Professor Woland, donning a long black coat, fedora hat, and mysteriously menacing ways. Emmanuel Matte lets his energy out in sudden bursts like a human machine-gun, becoming an Ivan Biezdomny constantly on the brink, on the edge of madness. The voice of Jean-Pierre Léaud arises from a twisted magnetic tape machine.
We go through all the new songs and instrumentals created for the play, « American Parallel », « Woland’s theme », « Across From My Windows », « Magic Peanut/The Chase », « Black Magic/Out of Control », « Margarita’s theme », « When I Ride », « The Devil’s Ballroom », « The Underdogs », « Fire Fire », « Long Live The (D)evil »… Some of them have been played on stage for a few months and have mutated.
On some songs, the student actors from the Théâtre National de Bretagne play the part of the crazy Moscow audience, cheering and yelling and fighting on demand. Arthur ignites them by flashing panels bearing incentives: « joy » « applause », « cheer », « panic », « shout woland, woland, woland »…
It’s great to play and respond to the rythms and moods of the actors, making the whole performance seem
like a movie in the making, full of life and unpredicted happenings.
Throughout the whole show, we feel the words from the past resonate with the current political context. Eerie.











By isabella