Heads Up: I Am the Wind
Come with the wind: the theatrical sail of the century
Sunday 27 March 2011
What are we talking about? A coming together of three of Europe's great theatrical talents. France's Patrice Chéreau directs a new adaptation of Norwegian Jon Fosse's play Eg Er Vinden, about two men in a boat, rewritten by the UK's Simon Stephens.
Elevator Pitch Theatrical trio get the wind in their sails.
Prime Movers Patrice Chéreau, the French theatre, opera and film director. You might know his name from award-winning movies such as La Reine Margot, Intimacy and Persecution. Jon Fosse is the playwright whose name you should know, even if it isn't so familiar: he's the most widely performed living playwright in Europe. Adapting his 2007 script into English is our own Simon Stephens, whose plays include Pornography, Punk Rock and Wastwater (about to open at the Royal Court).
The Stars Tom Brooke who won praise for his performance in Jerusalem; Jack Laskey whose turns in the Globe's As You Like It and Sweet Nothings – also at the Young Vic – pleased critics too.
The Early Buzz Michael Coveney has written in his Whatsonstage.com blog: "Chéreau, indisputably a great stage and film director ... will make his first return to these theatrical shores since his gloriously sexy and beautiful production of Marivaux's La Dispute visited the National Theatre in 1974. The critical response to La Dispute was, I'm afraid to say, shameful, and I know how deeply upset and angry Chéreau was about the level of engagement, or lack of it, in the reviews. Maybe he'll get a warmer welcome this time."
Insider Knowledge Chéreau has said the only reason he's never come over to work for an English theatre before is that he's never been asked.
It's great that... David Lan, the Young Vic's artistic director, is fulfilling a long-held dream: watching a Chéreau show reportedly changed his life, and his idea of what could be achieved onstage. A perfect addition to the Young Vic's 40th birthday celebrations, then.
It's a shame that... English adaptations of Fosse's work have usually met with a chilly reception in this country; Stephens may have a challenge overcoming the lesser-Ibsen or sub-Beckett comparisons.
Hit Potential It's billed as a "once-in-a-lifetime collaboration", and Chéreau should prove a selling point.
The Details I Am the Wind is at the Young Vic, London SE1 (youngvic.org), 26 April to 21 May.
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