Thursday, December 20, 2012

Elle nous enterrera tous

A couple of weeks ago, one of my colleagues invited me to a play in La Ciotat. Ten euros and a sore butt later, I report:

It was the first time I've been to the theater since coming to France, and it was an amateur production--otherwise known as community theater--of a horror/comedy (?) called Elle nous eterrera tous. The play is about mistaken identity, murder, etc. It reminded me a lot of Arsenic and Old Lace, which I've seen probably about a dozen times. There's a 1944 film starring Cary Grant, which is fabulous. Also, my cousin was in a production when we were in high school. He's rather tall, so he played the imposing, Boris Karloff-type character.

This play, though similar, is about a woman who runs a flower shop in a small town in Provence. Her husband has left her years ago to raise three children alone. Then, one day a mysterious man shows up at their door. The children are grown, and the one boy, Abel, murders his father in a fit of rage, only to find out that his father had a twin brother--and his own brother Antoine, thought he did away with their dead-beat dad years ago in Italy!

It turns out none of this really matters. There are some slapstick moments (a private eye gets beaned in the head) and some poignant moments. Ultimately, it was a fun little romp, and very, very local. The friend I went with is from Brittany (northwestern France), and we both ended up having a hard time understanding certain passages. At least the play was not in Occitain (technically a different language, romance, in between French and Spanish)! That has been known to happen in these parts. Though, the language is an endangered one, unfortunately; people don't speak it at home as much as they used to, preferring French because it's more practical.

In sum, I don't know that I will go to another community theater production in La Ciotat, but never say never!

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