What secrets conceal the handkerchiefs forgotten under the seats of the dark rooms? While finishing the housework, a cinema usher stops, pensive, in front of a few crumpled balls of cellulose, receptacles for the tears shed in the shade of the big screen. Before this lovely conclusion, in the formidable retro-looking decor by Alban Ho Van, the public will have spent almost an hour and a half passing through the wondrous mirrors of the cinema.
Beyond the canvas, a complex reality and a dense material feed this show with magnetic charm. swimming women was born from the desire of a director, Émilie Capliez, co-director of the Comédie de Colmar (national drama center of Grand Est Alsace), to talk about actresses, the imagination that surrounds them but also their struggles made visible by the #MeToo surge coming precisely from the ranks of the 7th art.
Émilie Capliez then commissioned a text from the playwright Pauline Peyrade, also author of a remarkable first novel.
The spectator attends on stage the fruitful meeting between a look and a writing. The director’s eye plays cheerfully with the atmospheres – from the intimate to the thrill of the thriller – and with the lights à la Edward Hopper. A woman in a white bathing suit walks in the background, her hands in her hair, before changing into a bathrobe. Fur, raincoat, dark glasses, pumps, sequined shorts, astronaut suits… The actresses’ wardrobe waltzes along with the figures invoked by Pauline Peyrade’s abundant text.
Her intense pen, with mysterious and profound poetry, shapes a kaleidoscopic portrait of women in cinema. From Marilyn Monroe to Rachida Brakni, Ludivine Sagnier, Maria Schneider, Salma Hayek, Carole Roussopoulos, Sigourney Weaver aging with the series AlienDelphine Seyrig of course (the great hall of the TGP, where the play is played, bears her name), or even Adèle Haenel and her angry gesture during the 2020 Césars ceremony, a whirlwind of personalities meet on the plateau.
Four powerful actresses
From anecdotes to confidences, from winks to mythical sequences, of which the public quickly gives up identifying all the references, Pauline Peyrade questions this ocean of images and dreams, examines the imprint of the still predominantly male gaze of directors stage, sweeps away the roles to which women are often assigned and leads the public towards the promises of emancipation drawn by strong, committed artists.
What better illustration than the one unfolding on the set? With crazy energy and an insolent range of interpretations, Odja Llorca, Catherine Morlot, Léa Séry and Alma Palacios (alternating with Louis Chevillotte) are four actresses, of various generations and registers, who play actresses. Beautiful, powerful and free for an inspiring manifesto, carried by the mixed breaths of struggle and creation.