Appearance and Reality

Colmar, France. From July 10 to 14, the Goetheanum will host the Theater Festival. The French Théâtre de L’Homme Inconnu will be performing the Shakespeare play, “La Nuit des Rois” (“Twelfth Night”) there. An interview with the director, Marc-Alexandre Cousquer.

What is the performance about?

This comedy is a mixture of folly and existential variations on the theme of appearance and reality. Cucullus non facit monachum—the cowl does not make the monk! Does my sensual form—my image—reflect the truth of my being, or is it just a facade, an expression of my conceit and arrogance? In an opposite and broader sense, is there wisdom behind the veil of appearances? The events in the play seem tragic and improbable, like an illusion—yet they carry the weaving of fate within them. Thus, the illusion seems to tell the truth.

What themes and questions are you researching?

An essential aspect of our work fits wonderfully with the piece’s theme: we want to give a big, theatrical hint! How can we unfold an idea and a sensually perceptible image in space in such a way that the audience can experience it with their whole being? How can we portray the elemental life, the breath of the soul-spiritual?

What influence does Rudolf Steiner’s Drama Course have on your work?

The Drama Course is the basis of my entire theater work. The path it proposes, starting not from a concept or an idea but from the human limbs, from the human being who lives in gestures, forms the ground from which the whole expression develops. Imagination also lives in this realm. The expression that then unfolds reveals the inner being of the human being, their relationship to the world, and all that lives in and between the poet’s words. It opens up a poetic space where the inspired limb-human is transformed into an image-human. I am trying to reach this imaginative level.

More La Nuit des Rois

Translation Charles Cross
Image Scenes from the play La Nuit des Rois, source: Théâtre de L’Homme Inconnu

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