Theatre du Soleil “Les Ephemeres”（浮生若夢）
16, Jan 2008 02:59
All the performance is on a wooden round stage. They start with decorating. At the beginning, actors catch the furniture upstage, after they put it in order, the play start. There are actors pushing the round stage, whose gestures are very elegant, like dancing. It’s really interesting when watching the actors perform on the stage and other actors aside roll it. The whole play is combined by several fragment of story. Some of which have connection and context but some don’t. I choose two to three short stories which touches me more to discuss.
Actually I like the first story. It’s about a garden in a house, which is going to be sold. The hostess decides to sell the house because her mother was dead. And then a man shows up and buys the house happily. In their conversation, I can know that the man is married recently. Comparing to the hostess, who is sad and sorrowful, he is rich and lucky. After the man leaves, the hostess enters the garden and incredibly her mother shows up cutting the tree. The hostess plays with her mother happily, like a child, but later her mother vanishes with the stage. Seeing the hostess tries to pursue her mother but in vain, I am moved very much. The story tells us that time’s mercilessness and parents you loved deeply sometimes can’t wait for you. They just can’t wait until you grow up and repay them. Although I know that, I am still shaken when seeing someone performed this situation. We should value the time we could stay with our parents, because it’s really little.
Another story I love very much is a patient and a doctor. The patient has mental disorder and illness. The female doctor is very kind and smart. She examines the old lady with supersonic wave. The lady is sick and old, but she always imagines that she is pregnant. While examining, the old lady keeps saying” I want a surprise.” She is excited about pregnancy. I feel it ironical when the old lady pretends to be pregnant and really shows some expectation of her baby. A baby means a start of life, hope; instead, the old lady is sick and weak, and her life is going to an end. The actor who performs the old lady really does a good job and that’s why this story impresses me.
The third story is about a divorce couple. At the beginning, I see the married man who is happy and full of hope; but at the end of the play, we see divorce. It’s a couple of white man and black woman. They sit together when the lawyer asks them whether they want to separate, and both of they sign on the contract. Comparing to the marriage, they are in a sad situation. And the black woman leaves without turning her head back to her husband. Does she still remember the love between them? Will she reflect of their happy days in the future? It’s really melancholy to break up with someone you loved deeply before, isn’t it? And that is life.
Most of the short stories in the play are sad, no matter what they begin with. They will end in a lamentable way. Why does Arian Mnouchkine performs this kind of life? I think she also knows the tough of life. Although sometimes life seems full of happiness and fortunateness, actually it is painful. I agree with her idea. It is painful to live on the world. And it’s the reason we should value the happy time, because it’s not only short but also few.
Some of the stories still couldn’t make me touched very deeply. I think maybe I didn’t have the similar experience because I am still young. But in the future, I will enjoy my own life and maybe, possibly, I will have similar experiences. I really expect that after ten or more years later, I will suddenly think of the short story in the play and find out I understand the feeling what the actors try to tell me. That’s why I think that the play is performed not for you to understand immediately, but to experience and reflect in your whole life.