Hôtel Feydeau

It is the year 1907 and, out of the blue, Feydeau decides to change everything. His shows have been filling theatres for the last fifteen years. He is the uncontested king of the boulevard. Even the critics, after their initial distaste at these ‘minor’ works, have now lain down their weapons. Nobody can match his talent for construing, with such fiendish attention to detail, intrigues of the most outlandish kind, in which each detail generates a whole cascade of catastrophic consequences. Nobody can craft slapstick dialogues as well as he can, each painstakingly rooted in a dramatic movement which justifies every outburst. For, “theatre”, he wrote in 1905, “is above all the development of an action”. Yet, at the age of forty-five years old, and for no apparent reason, he decides to put his title up for grabs.

According to family tradition, it all happened one particularly rainy afternoon at a friend’s house. Feydeau preferred to stay in his room, asked for his writing things to be sent up, and Feu la mère de madame (Madame’s Late Mother) was written in just two days. Staged a few months later, the one-act play added to his list of successes. And justifiably so. Lucien and Yvonne’s truly horrible night together provides us with an explosion of comic goings-on. However, the virtuoso sequences of events and absurd knock-on effects are replaced with something else. Close-ups. This time around the plot appears to hinge on not very much at all. Feydeau needs nothing more than a husband who comes home rather late after a ball dressed up as Louis XIV, and a careless servant bearing bad news who knocks at the wrong door. The rest is all a matter of verve (“Ah ! non ! tu ne vas pas vomir ! je ne t’ai pas épousé pour ça !”), character portrayal (ranging from the irritable and selfish to the downright pathetic ) and invention, with each passing second, of details which eventually pile up to exploding point. A few months later, Feydeau left his marital home to take up lodgings at the Hôtel Terminus, which at least had the merit of making things perfectly clear.

Thus, it was at the Terminus that Feydeau completed his final cycle of theatrical works, visibly inspired by the break-up of his marriage: five variations in one act on the eternal war that wages in certain marital circles. On the way, we encounter such things as bed pans of all shapes and sizes, a wife who suffers from a wasp-bite on the rump, Georges Clemenceau (off stage), an aggressive macaroni and all sorts of stomach complaints, among which is the dismal-sounding ‘entérite relâchée’... Feydeau’s wish was to collate them under the generic title of Du mariage au divorce. However, illness prevented him from doing so.

Georges Lavaudant has already given us shining examples of his love of vaudeville comedy. Firstly, with his foray into the world of Labiche, with Un Chapeau de paille d’Italie (or ‘The Italian Straw Hat’) at the TNP in 1993. And then with Feydeau, Un Fil à la Patte (or ‘Cat Among the Pigeons’) at the Odéon in 2001. Rather than presenting his final works in their entirety, he has taken extracts from a whirlwind tour of this twilight word, mixing extracts from cited works with fragments from diverse sources, among which figure the opening pages of an unfinished comedy. A circus act of great proportions, leaning towards the nightmarish, is to be expected. And one which shifts from the highly provocative to the highly spiritual, somewhere between clowning at its darkest and verbal tight-rope walking. Lavaudant invites irreconcilable adversaries to dance, knives at the ready: man versus woman, child versus parents, and master versus servant. A severe case of all against all and every man for himself.

Odéon 6e

Place de l'Odéon Paris 75006 France

Odéon 6e

06 january – 12 february 2017 / Length about 1h30

Hôtel Feydeau

by Georges Feydeau

directed by Georges Lavaudant

with Gilles Arbona, Astrid Bas, Lou Chauvain, Benoit Hamon, Manuel Le Lièvre, André Marcon, Grace Seri, Tatiana Spivakova

new production. In French

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Odéon 6e
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Prices

from 6€ to 40€
More info

Booking online opens December 7th. At the booking office and by telephone from December 14th, and December 21st 2016 for the previews.

  • Hôtel Feydeau | Astrid bas, Benoît Hamon, Lou Chauvain © Thierry Depagne
    Astrid bas, Benoît Hamon, Lou Chauvain © Thierry Depagne
  • Hôtel Feydeau | Benoît Hamon, Lou Chauvain, Grace Seri © Thierry Depagne
    Benoît Hamon, Lou Chauvain, Grace Seri © Thierry Depagne
  • Hôtel Feydeau | André Marcon, Tatiana Spivakova © Thierry Depagne
    André Marcon, Tatiana Spivakova © Thierry Depagne
  • Hôtel Feydeau | Benoît Hamon, Manuel Le Lièvre, Lou Chauvain, Astrid Bas © Thierry Depagne
    Benoît Hamon, Manuel Le Lièvre, Lou Chauvain, Astrid Bas © Thierry Depagne
  • Hôtel Feydeau | Grace Seri, André Marcon, Gilles Arbona © Thierry Depagne
    Grace Seri, André Marcon, Gilles Arbona © Thierry Depagne
  • Hôtel Feydeau | Manuel Le Lièvre, Grace Seri, Gilles Arbona, André Marcon © Thierry Depagne
    Manuel Le Lièvre, Grace Seri, Gilles Arbona, André Marcon © Thierry Depagne
  • Hôtel Feydeau | Tatiana Spivakova, Manuel Le Lièvre, Astrid Bas, Grace Seri © Thierry Depagne
    Tatiana Spivakova, Manuel Le Lièvre, Astrid Bas, Grace Seri © Thierry Depagne
  • Hôtel Feydeau | Tatiana Spivakova, Benoît Hamon © Thierry Depagne
    Tatiana Spivakova, Benoît Hamon © Thierry Depagne
  • Hôtel Feydeau | Astrid Bas, Gilles Arbona, Manuel Le Lièvre © Thierry Depagne
    Astrid Bas, Gilles Arbona, Manuel Le Lièvre © Thierry Depagne
  • Hôtel Feydeau | Astrid Bas, Lou Chauvain, André Marcon, Manuel Le Lièvre, Gilles Arbona © Thierry Depagne
    Astrid Bas, Lou Chauvain, André Marcon, Manuel Le Lièvre, Gilles Arbona © Thierry Depagne
  • Hôtel Feydeau | André Marcon, Manuel Le Lièvre, Gilles Arbona, Benoît Hamon, Tatiana Spivakova © Thierry Depagne
    André Marcon, Manuel Le Lièvre, Gilles Arbona, Benoît Hamon, Tatiana Spivakova © Thierry Depagne

It is the year 1907 and, out of the blue, Feydeau decides to change everything. His shows have been filling theatres for the last fifteen years. He is the uncontested king of the boulevard. Even the critics, after their initial distaste at these ‘minor’ works, have now lain down their weapons. Nobody can match his talent for construing, with such fiendish attention to detail, intrigues of the most outlandish kind, in which each detail generates a whole cascade of catastrophic consequences. Nobody can craft slapstick dialogues as well as he can, each painstakingly rooted in a dramatic movement which justifies every outburst. For, “theatre”, he wrote in 1905, “is above all the development of an action”. Yet, at the age of forty-five years old, and for no apparent reason, he decides to put his title up for grabs.

According to family tradition, it all happened one particularly rainy afternoon at a friend’s house. Feydeau preferred to stay in his room, asked for his writing things to be sent up, and Feu la mère de madame (Madame’s Late Mother) was written in just two days. Staged a few months later, the one-act play added to his list of successes. And justifiably so. Lucien and Yvonne’s truly horrible night together provides us with an explosion of comic goings-on. However, the virtuoso sequences of events and absurd knock-on effects are replaced with something else. Close-ups. This time around the plot appears to hinge on not very much at all. Feydeau needs nothing more than a husband who comes home rather late after a ball dressed up as Louis XIV, and a careless servant bearing bad news who knocks at the wrong door. The rest is all a matter of verve (“Ah ! non ! tu ne vas pas vomir ! je ne t’ai pas épousé pour ça !”), character portrayal (ranging from the irritable and selfish to the downright pathetic ) and invention, with each passing second, of details which eventually pile up to exploding point. A few months later, Feydeau left his marital home to take up lodgings at the Hôtel Terminus, which at least had the merit of making things perfectly clear.

Thus, it was at the Terminus that Feydeau completed his final cycle of theatrical works, visibly inspired by the break-up of his marriage: five variations in one act on the eternal war that wages in certain marital circles. On the way, we encounter such things as bed pans of all shapes and sizes, a wife who suffers from a wasp-bite on the rump, Georges Clemenceau (off stage), an aggressive macaroni and all sorts of stomach complaints, among which is the dismal-sounding ‘entérite relâchée’... Feydeau’s wish was to collate them under the generic title of Du mariage au divorce. However, illness prevented him from doing so.

Georges Lavaudant has already given us shining examples of his love of vaudeville comedy. Firstly, with his foray into the world of Labiche, with Un Chapeau de paille d’Italie (or ‘The Italian Straw Hat’) at the TNP in 1993. And then with Feydeau, Un Fil à la Patte (or ‘Cat Among the Pigeons’) at the Odéon in 2001. Rather than presenting his final works in their entirety, he has taken extracts from a whirlwind tour of this twilight word, mixing extracts from cited works with fragments from diverse sources, among which figure the opening pages of an unfinished comedy. A circus act of great proportions, leaning towards the nightmarish, is to be expected. And one which shifts from the highly provocative to the highly spiritual, somewhere between clowning at its darkest and verbal tight-rope walking. Lavaudant invites irreconcilable adversaries to dance, knives at the ready: man versus woman, child versus parents, and master versus servant. A severe case of all against all and every man for himself.

On Video

Previews

Previews Box office opening dates Prices single-price 50%
Jan. 4 and 5 / 20h
December 21st
20€ / 14€ / 9€ / 7€

Previews at the Odéon, this is 6000 half-price seats!
From January 2017 onwards, we will be offering two half-price preview performances for long-running shows.
Know more

Credits

dramaturgy Daniel Loayza
adaptation, lights, direction Georges Lavaudant
set design and costumes Jean-Pierre Vergier
make-up, hairstyle, wigs : Sylvie Cailler, Jocelyne Milazzo
sound Jean-Louis Imbert
choreography Francis Viet
artistic assistant Moïse Touré
direction assistant Fani Carenco
costumes assistant Géraldine Ingremeau
stage manager cie LG Théâtre Laurent Cauvain
administrator cie LG Théâtre Elias Oziel
production manager cie LG Théâtre Juliette Augy-Bonnaud

production Compagnie LG Théâtre, Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe

Length, about 1h40

avec le soutien du Cercle de l’Odéon

Director

Georges Lavaudant

Après vingt années de théâtre à Grenoble, avec la troupe du Théâtre Partisan d'abord, puis à la codirection du Centre Dramatique National des Alpes (à partir de 1976), et de la Maison de la Culture de Grenoble (en 1981), Georges Lavaudant devient codirecteur du TNP de Villeurbanne en 1986. Sa première mise en scène au TNP, en 1987, fut Le Régent de Jean-Christophe Bailly. Georges Lavaudant poursuivait ainsi la démarche commencée au début des années 70 à Grenoble : présenter des auteurs contemporains en alternance avec des classiques. Des textes de Denis Roche (Louve basse), Pierre Bourgeade (Palazzo Mentale), Jean-Christophe Bailly (Les Cépheïdes et Pandora), Michel Deutsch (Féroé, la nuit...), Le Clézio (Pawana) et, depuis peu d'années ses propres pièces : Veracruz, Les Iris, Terra Incognita (présenté au Théâtre de l'Odéon à l'hiver 1993), Ulysse/Matériaux, entrecroisés avec le théâtre de Musset, Shakespeare, Tchekhov, Brecht, Labiche, Pirandello, Genet...

Ses mises en scène, créées principalement à Grenoble jusqu'en 1986, puis à Villeurbanne jusqu'en 1996, ont vu également le jour à la Comédie Française (Lorenzaccio, Le Balcon, Hamlet) à l'Opéra de Paris (Roméo et Juliette de Gounod) ; à l'Opéra de Lyon (L'enlèvement au sérail de Mozart, Malcolm de Gérard Maimone, Rodrigue et Chimène de Debussy) et, au-delà des frontières, à Mexico : Le Balcon, Pawana ; à Montevideo : Isidore Ducasse/Fragments ; à Bhopal : Phèdre ; à Hanoï : Woyzeck ; à Saint-Petersbourg : "Reflets".

En 1995 et 1996, il a créé Lumières (I) "Près des ruines" et Lumières (II) "Sous les arbres", spectacles conçus par Jean-Christophe Bailly, Michel Deutsch, Jean-François Duroure et lui-même. Il met en scène les comédiens du Théâtre Maly de Saint-Petersbourg dans l'adaptation russe de Lumières: Reflets, présenté à l'Odéon en 1997. La même année, il met en scène la création mondiale de Prova d'orchestra de Giorgio Battistelli à l'Opéra du Rhin.

Georges Lavaudant a été directeur de l'Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe de mars 1996 à mars 2007.

Il y crée :

- Le Roi Lear, de Shakespeare (1996)
- Bienvenue, de Lavaudant (1996)
- Reflets, de Jean-Christophe Bailly (1997)
- Ajax et Philoctête, de Sophocle (Petit Odéon, 1997)
- Histoires de France, en collaboration avec Michel Deutsch (1997)
- La noce chez les petits bourgeois et Tambours dans la nuit de Bertolt Brecht (1998)
- L'Orestie, d'Eschyle (1999)
- Fanfares (2000)
- Un Fil à la patte, de Feydeau (2001)
- La Mort de Danton, de Büchner (2002)
- El Pelele, de Jean-Christophe Bailly, mai 2003
- La Cerisaie, de Tchekhov, janvier 2004
- Hamlet [un songe], adapté de Shakespeare, en avril 2006, pour la réouverture de l'Odéon après travaux
- Cassandre, d'après Christa Wolf, musique de Michaël Jarrell, en décembre 2006

et y reprend certaines de ses mises en scène récentes :

- Un chapeau de paille d'Italie, d'Eugène Labiche (1997)
- La dernière nuit, de Lavaudant (Petit Odéon, 1997)
- Pawana, de Jean-Marie Le Clézio (1997)
- Les Géants de la Montagne, de Pirandello (1999, en catalan)
- La Rose et la hache (2004, 2007)
- Les Cenci, d'après Antonin Artaud, musique de Giorgio Battistelli, en avril 2007

Depuis 2007, il poursuit son travail dans le cadre de sa compagnie avec la même curiosité, qui le conduit d’Antonio Lobo Antunes au Cyrano de Rostand (2013 – à peu près son centième spectacle), de Marie NDiaye à Arthur Miller, de Stanislas Rodanski à Georges Feydeau.

 

Excerpt

Clarisse. En somme, toi, quoi ? tu es un étranger pour moi ! Tu es mon mari, mais c’est une convention ! Quand je t’ai épousé, – je ne sais
pas pourquoi...
Ventroux, s’incline, puis. Merci.
Clarisse, sans s’interrompre. ... je ne te connaissais pas ; et, crac, du jour au lendemain, parce qu’il y avait un gros monsieur en ceinture tricolore devant qui on avait dit « oui », c’était admis ! tu me voyais toute nue. Eh ! ben, ça, c’est indécent.
Ventroux. Ah ! tu trouves !
Clarisse. Tandis que mon fils, quoi ? C’est ma chair ! C’est mon sang ! Eh ben !... que la chair de ma chair voie ma chair, il n’y rien d’inconvenant ! (Se levant.) À part les préjugés !
Ventroux. Mais c’est tout, les préjugés ! C’est tout !
Clarisse, passant devant lui, avec hauteur. Pour les esprits mesquins, oui ! Mais, Dieu merci ! je suis au-dessus de ça !

Georges Feydeau : Mais n’te promène donc pas toute nue !

On Tour

La Comète, scène nationale

Châlons-en-Champagne
Monday February 27 2017 / 20:30
Tuesday February 28 2017 / 20:30

Théâtre de l’Archipel, scène nationale

Perpignan
Thursday October 5 2017 / 20:30
Friday October 6 2017 / 20:30
Saturday October 7 2017 / 20:30