Disaster in the arms of laughter
A unique fresco, an exceptional spectacle
Written and directed by Mathilda May
Produced by Arts Live Entertainment
With Stépahinie Djoudi-Guiraudon, Françoise Miquelis, Tristan Robin, Ariane Mourier, Jérémie Coviallault, Sébastien Almar, Anna Mihalcea, Arnaud Maillard, Bernie Collins and Lee Delong
“Le Banquet" is a singular, strong, surprising and universal show. Praised at the Rond Point Theatre in Paris, then again at Theatre de Paris, gifted with standing ovations on tour, awarded two Molières and nominated for a third in 2019 (Molière for directing, Mathilda May; Molière for female revelation, Ariane Mourier; and Molière nomination for best show). It’s a marriage reception where everything goes wrong, a banquet where all suddenly shatters. Spoken only in gibberish, but in a universal visual language, the characters love, confront, meet, and get lost in a funny and hectic whirlwind.
PRESS COVERAGE (2019-2020)
Critique des événements culturels, 05.11.2018
by Danielle Mathieu-Bouillon
A wedding, or rather a wedding reception, in a space protected by a white tent, on an uneven terrain, a microcosm of society meets or is found…
Mathilda May chose, as in "Open Space", not to write verbal dialogues, but she invents a language composed of unintelligible borborygmas, but the visual picture is such that it is easy to understand what it is all about….
The team of actors is great. This colorful, delirious, metaphorical melee goes further in my opinion than the simple gag, it is remarkably orchestrated.
DISASTER IN THE ARMS OF LAUGHTER
La Terrasse Theater - Critic, 22.01.2020, No. 284
by Catherine Robert
A dose of absurdity, a pinch of quirkiness and perfect technical mastery: the artists brought together by Mathilda May do not speak, but manage to be easily understood, thanks to the inventiveness of their play and their creativity….(they) dance cheerfully on the volcano that will engulf them!
Mathilda May brings together in a single ceremony all imaginable disasters: the bride's dress stained with indigestible chocolate mousse, the guest’s vomit, the regurgitating infant on the bride’s shoulder, a dog crushed under her buttocks, soporific speeches and kisses exchanged outside the strict frameworks of decency or marital legitimacy...
The guests stagger and sprawl happily between the tables, the mothers-in-law are adept at striptease or cannabis….the guests are cheerfully crazy…
The setting in which this collection of sweet lunatics evolves is particularly conducive to slipping, as easily as the champagne that slips down their throats, the floor too is slippy: everything is organized so as to accommodate the hectic whirlwind that turns the party into carnage…
while sparing what obviously matters the most and which is saved in extremis: love, which survives in the ruins of the massacre.
Le Monde du Ciné, January 2020
The theater dares all....Because you have to dare such a surprise as the one that awaits you with the new play by Mathilda MAY:
The Banquet is the genre of piece which has no genre.…Indeed, in addition to the comical situations that we all have experienced at wedding receptions, there is a selection of artistic techniques that are sure to catch your eye. First baffled, you will quickly be drawn into this whirlwind of humor served by so many feats that we cannot list them.
The banquet is improbable and intelligent, bizarre and generous, crazy and subtle….the expressions of the actors are the core of everything and when we talk about expressions, it is not only the expression on their faces. It’s the character’s whole body speaking….the actors do not lack assets…slow motion, stunts! The performing arts come together in one and the same story: body expression, stunts, but also beat box, dance etc. ... It is a range of disciplines performed brilliantly…
It’s as if an entire drama class is given to us from the stage where anything is possible! One might say, it is not only the musical comedy which can boast of being multidisciplinary when we see the immeasurable talent of the artists of this show.