“How can you go to the Emergency room when you’ve been attacked with nothing else but words? What scars can you show? There’s nothing to patch up.” So goes the life of one of Victor Haïm’s characters in his new play Furieux which we heard the playwright read last Monday night 216 Boulevard Raspail. The Monday ‘theater discovery’ night is an event organized by the Société Littéraire de la Poste et de France Telecom.
In Furieux we quickly become acquainted with suffering in many forms –ranging from the physical pain of a failing body, the loss of one’s sense of sight and hearing, to spousal abuse, alcoholism, racism, and unrequited love. But, there is salvation – and plenty of humor which arrives on stage in the form of a Muslim widow with the gift of healing hands(her abusive husband had been murdered by a hate group called F.U.R. I.E. U. X.). (My French wasn’t good enough to catch each word of this acronym – but the last letter ‘X’ stands for Xenophobe.)
How five characters’ lives are so deftly intertwined, including a psychologist who ends up on the healer’s massage table, is a delight best saved for the theater experience – whenever that may come about. Haïm so brilliantly read five different parts, bringing to life each character that the actors lucky enough to get these roles will have a hard act to follow.
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Victor Haïm’s plays have been translated into 16 languages and appeared in 23 countries including the USA and Canada. L’Escalade, translated by Jack Trahey was included in the International Contemporary French Theater Festival program held at the Piccolo Theater , Chicago, 2004).
In 2003, Victor Haïm won the Moliere Prize for best playwright of contemporary French theater.
Can’t wait to see this play performed onstage – either in French or in English.