A cobblestone in the stars
24 Heures (CH)
To run no more, to forget your daily stress: to step through this Garden - it will regenerate you, long-term.
An hour and a quarter without words to meditate on the human condition. Seventy five minutes of burlesque poetry that brings us back to the cinema of Buster Keaton and to Samuel Beckett’s theater. Four thousand five hundred seconds that drain away slowly...pianissimo. It is rare to see, however, such mastery of a delicate tempo - and a dangerous one.
Didier André and Jean Paul Lefeuvre know how to keep things in slow-motion, like a volcano on standby that erupts in artifice from time to time, as if surprised.
The frame is simple : a large greenhouse set up smack in the middle of the stage and two characters, diametrically opposed in style. One of them is of medium height, rounded, clumsy but authoritarian. At first, he is laying in a hammock, playing a banjo, with a slightly sulky look on his face. He ends up juggling just about everything except his own zygomatics. The other, a sort of “garden Pierrot” is a little taller, dressed only in a pair of boxer shorts ; he is endlessly active and serviable, with a bewildered look on his face and in his rounded eyeballs. This acrobat’s abdominals look like they are made of reinforced concrete and yet he has the grace of cat. Both of the gardner-clowns will water the sweet nothings of our existence and watch them grow, and both of them will weed through the bigger picture : the relationship between us all.
As props : an old cassette player and tapes, a wheelbarrow, some wooden crates, a few bouquets of flowers and also, some hoses, small and large (Tati could have filmed the scene). The two companions fool around with matter as they fool around with references, with contrasts between light and shadow, gravity and lightness,
and in the end, with a cobblestone that looks feather light.
There is a constant sense of wonderment in the show, although the effects are rarely spectacular. They make the most of minimal dramaturgy. In the Garden, time is as if suspended. There is no particular season to see what grows here.
Le Populaire (FR)
Fabulous “Garden”. [..] 90 minutes of sheer joy.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH)
A Must ! [...] The Garden is to Theaterspektakel
what Haiku is to Japanese Poetry.
Le Dauphiné Libéré (FR)
A “Garden” rich and well inhabited, full of emotions, stuffed with laughs and smiles
right up to its delicious credit sequence. It’s simple and it deserves a full house.
Le Bien Public (FR)
If genius in the art of performance consists in showing things hitherto unseen, if it is
to create in simplicity and to give extreme pleasure... well, genius exists. A show composed to perfection.
Salzburger Nachrichten (A)
We sit gaping in admiration so much our eyes are not enough to show our wonder...
Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (FR)
A nursery Garden of crazy or poetic ideas nurtured by two nutty gardeners.
L’Est Républicain (FR)
A beautiful Garden, fresh, intelligent and funny [...] We smile, we laugh out loud and then we let ourselves get carried away by the poetry, and we sit astounded before a performance which from beginning to end unfolds as a collection of happy surprises.
L’Yonne Républicaine (FR)
Quite simply excellent! [...] A show in full flower which makes us cry laughing.