The Lourcine Street Affair
by Eugène Labiche
The Lourcine Street Affair
by Eugène Labiche
Duration: 1 h 5 min / Pause: No
40 de lei
20 de lei
After a night of drunkenness, Lenglumé wakes up one morning in bed next to his former high-school colleague, Mistingue. Hung over, in the attempt to recollect what happened on the previous night, the two men notice that they have lost a few personal belongings: one, an umbrella with a monkey head, the other, a handkerchief embroidered with his initials... Moreover, from the daily newspaper they find out that next to the corpse of a coal-worker, their belongings... have been found?! As memory plays tricks on them, the two are living with the impression that they are the authors of an abominable murder. From this moment on, the plot accelerates, the scenes are flowing at an insane pace, and our heroes, overwhelmed by the nightmare of psychosis, start acting under the impulse of true... murderers.
An intense comic frenzy guiding the main characters through the most unpredictable circumstances. A high-quality dark comedy, sometimes filled with absurd... humour, other times truly ... „bloody”, built with the mechanisms of an authentic thriller. A show for intelligent people, who do not refrain from laughing even at themselves.
“The Other Labiche
Written in series, with an enviable lightness and comic genius, on commission or out of creative inspiration, Labiche’s plays have created in the universal dramaturgy a style, an oeuvre, but also a few masterpieces. One of them – The Lourcine Street Affair – is unique through dramatic concentration, through turns of events, but also through its insinuated dramaticism. Despair and drama at a prominent representative of the boulevard theatre? Well, yes. For me, the force and uniqueness of this play, its fine humour, stem precisely from the strange combination between the despair of the characters wanting to escape a merciless destiny and the ludricousness of their actual situation. Far from being realistic or minor, The Lourcine Street Affair accurately describes the ambiguous border between appearance and reality, protest and resignation, the assumed guilt and the criminal instinct lurking in everyone of us. A human area in which everything becomes possible. Of course, everything depicted with much dark humour. „Everything is spinning, everything is dancing around me” says the main character, describing the sensation of a parallel reality losing the familiar contours of a world gone mad, engaging everything in its frantic movement. Maybe that, in the end, when everything calms down, clearing up at the level of a commonplace reality, Labiche’s characters miss the vital and desperate turmoil that they entered by mistake, for a moment.
We, the spectators, witness with satisfaction, with sadism even, this useless struggle of the characters caught in a carousel of horrors woven by their own imagination. But doesn’t our daily life mean the same continuous flounder, useless most of the times, in the attempt to justify our existence?” Felix Alexa
Translated by Simona Nichiteanu
Photo by Florin Ghioca
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"Marius Manole and Istvan Teglas are the ones who have found the exact measure and the truth of this world in which plus and minus have been replaced by characters written with Wingdings (lifeisadreamluckilyitsshort). The intensely felt panic, the gestures, tone of voice, the gaze, the tension, the uncontrolled reactions, all this stream of exaggerations in our reality is perfectly justified and covered in the overturned reality of the characters. For them, everything is very true. And even more terrifying. And to these spectators, this elitist voyeurism, this pleasure to laugh not very noisily about someone else’s harm provides in the end a special satisfaction. And in order for the whole range of feelings to be present, the two offer you all the arguments to believe them capable of murder and to absolve them of the blame at the same time. Two sad clowns, who without any kind of make-up give cold shivers as the ones from horror movies, but whom one feels the urge to protect due to their appearance of naughty, though innocent children.
At the end, on the shrill harmonies from the Tiger Lillies’ „Killer”, one is wondering whether maybe … „I could have, I should have been a killing, killing, killing machine”. Because in this show, the murder, as terrible and shocking, has humour and a beaming smile.
Alina Epîngeac, Yorick - Should have / could have been a killer
"For „The Lourcine Street Affair”, director Felix Alexa achieves a modern enactment, with the aid of the scenography created by Andrada Chiriac. (...) The scenery by Andrada Chiriac creates a vivid atmosphere, in bright colours, enhanced by light design, with many overlapping lines, precisely in order to suggest this feeling of parallel reality in which Lenglumé and Mistingue seem to have awakened.
Marius Manole is full of verve and emanates energy as in almost all of his roles, flooding the stage with his presence and conquering the smiles of the spectators. From Istvan Teglas we retain the fluid movement on stage and his oblong silhouette, succeeding to form with Marius Manole a comic duo engaging the others through their energy. Raluca Aprodu creates a lucid Norine, slightly superficial and precious, enough to fall however into the trap of chaos. But in the final equation, she is the one enmeshing the threads, reading that particular news from the newspaper and she is also the one who untangles them, finding the revealing bill, which explains the compromising clues. Potard (Mihai Calotă) and Justin (Victor Țăpeanu) replenish the mourning delirium, on the same note of artificiality, as if all had awakened in the mood for frolicking".
Oana Bogzaru, Yorick - A Lourcine Street Affair gives rise to a parallel reality in the modern age
"The show „The Lourcine Street Affair”, enacted by Felix Alexa at the National Theatre of Bucharest after a play by Eugène Labiche, which is lesser known to us, unveils the modern meditation of the director on human condition. Alexa’s ability to explore the meanders of imagination is well masked by a boulevard farce and is supported by an unusual vision and an excellent cast. Both, on the extravagant scenography of Andrada Chiriac, on her own lighting design (...), as well as on a musical illustration bringing Broadway to the Black Box Hall of the National Theatre".
Horia Ghibuţiu, Journalist Blog - "The Lourcine Street Affair" at NTB and the unperpetrated murders inside our minds
"Exploring the frail boundaries of the binomial être /paraître, going in parallel with the duality revolt / resignation, assumed guilt / (latent) animal instinct, the director recomposes the universe of an (apparently) bygone world in order to prove that Western society has preserved, under the mask of politeness and conventions, an intrinsic violence of the human being. The phenomenology of the night from the comedies remains a mere statistical exercise, if the perspective and meanings were not explored, in which the flux of nightly darkness flows into the light of day. The scenic reading proposed by Felix Alexa brings an unusual vision deepening the social observations, the satire, although the vaudeville atmosphere masks some of the exposed cruelty. The director was careful to create a world consuming itself by living, focusing the beholder’s gaze on the noir side of the text.
With a well-balanced rhythm, with the subtle details added by the enthusiastic actors, the Lourcine Street Affair is the kind of show proving that laughter, irony, satire are the main antibodies causing the reaction through which a robust social body defends itself from dogmatic sclerosis".
Mădălina Dumitrache, Web Cultura – The Night Carousel
Translated by Simona Nichiteanu