LA GRANDE ET FABULEUSE HISTOIRE DU COMMERCE
In a hotel room, five exhausted travelling salesmen are mired in the misguided values and hollow words of market ideology. A caustic and desperate saga.
The 1960s; the 2000s. Forty years apart, in anonymous hotel rooms that are always slightly different, five travelling salesmen come together at the end of a seemingly endlessly repeated day. They speak the tired jargon of profitability – strategy, returns, productivity – and yet all they encounter is failure and disappointment. They are brave little soldiers for the growing ideology of the market society, swept up in the exploitation and confusion of values. But what remains of human relationships when the best way to lie is to be sincere?
A relentless saga that borrows from the documentary film genre, La grande et fabuleuse histoire du commerce follows the evolution and downfall of contemporary consumerism. With this play, writer Joël Pommerat, a groundbreaking figure in French theatre, has penned a biting and desperate diptych on business logic and its blind and terrible insinuation into the heart of our lives.
PRODUCED BY COMPAGNIE LOUIS BROUILLARD
CREATED BY JOËL POMMERAT
ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE PHILIPPE CARBONNEAUX
PERFORMED BY HERVÉ BLANC + PATRICK BEBI + ERIC FORTERRE + LUDOVIC MOLIÈRE + JEAN-CLAUDE PERRIN
LIGHTING AND SET DESIGN ERIC SOYER
COSTUME DESIGN ISABELLE DEFFIN
SOUND DESIGN FRANÇOIS LEYMARIE
MUSIC ANTONIN LEYMARIE
SET AND PROPS THOMAS RAMON – A TRAVERS CHAMPS
VIDEO RENAUD RUBIANO
PHOTO ELISABETH CARECCHIO
COPRODUCTION COMÉDIE DE BÉTHUNE – CENTRE DRAMATIQUE NATIONAL NORD PAS-DE-CALAIS + BÉTHUNE 2011 – CAPITALE RÉGIONALE DE LA CULTURE + LE CARRÉ (SAINTE-MAXIME) + THÉÂTRE DE L’UNION – CENTRE DRAMATIQUE NATIONAL DU LIMOUSIN + LE RAYON VERT (SAINT-VALÉRY EN CAUX) + THÉÂTRE D’ARLES – SCÈNE CONVENTIONNÉE POUR DES ÉCRITURES D’AUJOURD’HUI + THÉÂTRE D’EVREUX – SCÈNE NATIONALE EVREUX LOUVIERS + CNCDC – CENTRE NATIONAL DE CRÉATION ET DE DIFFUSIONS CULTURELLES DE CHÂTEAUVALLON + LE PARVIS – SCÈNE NATIONALE TARBES PYRÉNÉES + LE GRANIT – SCÈNE NATIONALE DE BELFORT WITHTHE SUPPORT OF LA COUPE D’OR – SCÈNE CONVENTIONNÉE DE ROCHEFORT
PRESENTED WITH THE SUPPORT OF SERVICE DE COOPÉRATION ET D’ACTION CULTURELLE DU CONSULAT GÉNÉRAL DE FRANCE À QUÉBEC
WRITTEN BY CATHERINE CYR
TRANSLATED BY ANDRÉE MCNAMARA TAIT
PREMIERED AT LA COMÉDIE DE BÉTHUNE, DECEMBER 15, 2011
JOËL POMMERAT (PARIS)
COMPAGNIE LOUIS BROUILLARD
Telling a human story
In 1990, Joël Pommerat wrote and staged his first play in Paris, Le chemin de Dakar, thereby founding the Compagnie Louis Brouillard. Since then, this prolific artist has created some two dozen plays and refined his own unique style. A true stage writer for whom the text is but a fragile imprint left on paper by a show, he stages his works alongside improvisations with the actors, jointly or alternately with the writing. Attentive to reality and the quirks hidden behind the apparent banality of ordinary lives, Pommerat creates troubling scenic worlds, where a realistic tone can either coexist with strange happenings or suddenly shift into something enchanting. Whether he is exploring the corporate world (Les marchands, 2006), families (D’une seule main, 2005) or reinventing fairy tales (Pinocchio, 2008; Cendrillon, 2011), the artist creates fables at our level, close to the human experience with its contradictions and frailties. Two of his plays have been produced in Montreal: Cet enfant (Espace Go, 2008) and Le Petit Chaperon rouge (Usine C, 2008). His most recent piece, La reunification des deux Corées (2013), created in Paris, was presented in Ottawa last spring.8). Sa plus récente pièce, La réunification des deux Corées (2013), créée à Paris, a été présentée à Ottawa au printemps dernier.
In 2011, Joël Pommerat won a Molière award for best living francophone author; his reputation continues to grow, in France and abroad. Uncluttered, simple but always imbued with oddities, the scenic worlds he creates strike the heart and spirit and are simply unforgettable.