From the study of the orality of theatre to the appropriation of an ultra-theatrical language, the itinerary of a company which is a driving force in itself.
If we observe the entire body of Dramaticules productions, what strikes us is their diversity. Ranging from “Macbett” by Ionesco, “Richard III” by Shakespeare, “Le Horla” by Maupassant, “Salome” by Oscar Wilde, “Ubu Roi“, “Affreux, bêtes et pédants“, “Don Quixote“, to “Hamlet” and more recently “Pinocchio“, we encounter a succession of shows that focus on the overwhelming personality of their heroes and anti-heroes. These are texts which bring to the stage the grotesque, the over-sized and the monster, but which are also characterised by a particular form of language. Each of them bears witness to the importance Dramaticules attributes to the act of saying or telling. To say, or tell. A commonplace action, you might say, but for Jérémie Le Louët is a near-sacred vocation. The result is a series of shows which acts upon us, and which engage the mind and body of actors and audiences alike. Rejecting all forms of pretence, hypocrisy or complacency, Dramaticules has an adversity to posturing of any kind. For them, whether they are summoning up the words of classical authors to make them ring out across the stage or creating new forms based on collective writing, making theatre is an act which always carries with it a political or satirical meaning, and which is not to be overlooked. Making theatre is an act of protest.
In the first place, there are the words themselves, whether they be those of Ionesco, Wilde, or Shakespeare. How can we do justice to the beauty of these words? How can we remain faithful to their intensity with the basic tools within the actor’s grasp, in other words his body and voice? It is about finding a balance between the proffering of a text in which the core of the author’s truth lies, even though the tirade might seem more like a sermon. An element of the divine is always present in orality, in the same way that an actor’s performance has something of the grandiloquence of religious discourse. What is it that we want to say, or tell? Why do we tell something in the first place? How do we tell it? This intrinsic question of a fundamental importance is a common thread running throughout the work of Dramaticules, and which renders it committed, volcanic and wholly present to its surrounding reality. Whether we are dealing with tragedy or the burlesque, the putting into perspective of the piece provides the necessary breathing space for the various thought processes at work. Over the course of his various productions, Jérémie Le Louët embarks upon a constant process of experimentation, and has built up a personalised acting grammar in conjunction with his team of performers. This has enabled him to map out the premises of an approach which places the intensity of the verb at the very centre of the process of creation, a baroque form in which declamatory excess is a response to the urgency of saying or telling.
Twenty years in the life of a troupe. With all its various turpitudes, uncontrollable ups and downs, complications stemming from the process of creation, individual postures of the protagonists of the cultural sector, excessive ego of the actor himself and, at times, the emptiness of their actions. With a wealth of experience in the field of language and the transmission of the spoken word behind them, Dramaticules felt the need to cast a critical gaze upon its own trajectory as a company, but also upon that of the artist in general, and the institutions which oversee and condition culture – as well as that of the spectator him or herself, and their exigencies or intellectual passivity, as the case my be. In “Affreux, bêtes et pédants“, Jérémie Le Louët steers the collective in an entirely new direction, but which is nonetheless a direct continuation of its trajectory. It amounts to a shift from one spoken word to another, from those of an author that we admire to our own, and with it the premises of our own form of orality. The draft of a new, intimate, personal form of telling. Associated with the question of the condition of the artist, saying or telling is akin to a form of protest. Anger abounds in the work of Dramaticules, as well violence, desire, intelligence, madness, and a passion for the stage. The very opposite, in other words, of the lukewarm. Or compromise. Or weariness of spirit. Or inaction. In the form of an operating guide for those around him, Jérémie Le Louët packed a punch with Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s “Manifesto of Futurism” in the opening minutes of “Affreux, bêtes et pédants“. It gave notice of the intention of Dramaticules to do away with all forms of stale convention once and for all, to mix up all the different genres and bring up the audience’s attention with a jolt. That way, at least, they would feel alive, and capable of action.
By means of this re-appropriation with their own words of the act of performing itself, Dramaticules embarked, with great success, upon an extended new cycle with its production of Jarry’s unclassifiable piece “Ubu Roi“. If the grotesque character of Ubu himself crystallised many of the company’s perspectives for future work, “Don Quixote“, proved to be even more ambitious. The piece leaves us with so much to explore, ranging from the pathetic to the sublime, and the actor in the face of the character-monster, as excessive and out of proportion as it may be. With its exploration of the fine line between fiction and reality thanks to a permanent mise en abyme between actor and role, we are confronted, ultimately, with the notion of the demolition of the theatre, and the unquestionable necessity of a form of anarchy in order to take an active stance against passivity. How can we say or tell all that? In this respect, “Don Quixote“, “Hamlet“, and “Pinocchio“, have much in common with “Ubu Roi“.
Dramaticules has its own language, and which is authentic, free, extravagant, and unhindered. We can be rest assured that the words of their forthcoming production, entitled “La Montagne cachée“, an adaptation of the alpine adventures of René Daumal’s novel “Mount Analogue”, will ring out loud and clear across the stage. This new piece will be in development during 2023/24.