The Diptych 36ème Dessous – Mary Brown

Diptych

Mary Brown & 36ème dessous

CREATION 2013

The story

We are in a deserted street in the north of England. Aligned, the red brick houses all look alike. Still Life motionless and silent, everything was devastated by an earthquake. It is the end of the day. The rescue dig stops tonight after several weeks of searching. Below ground, in the heart of the ruins there is a woman sheltering under her table, her name is Kathleen Doyle. Above ground, rummaging through the rubble there ia another woman and her name is Mary Brown.

In ‘36ème Dessous’ we are in the ruins of what was once a kitchen. Everything is covered by rubble, piles of stones. On the table there are biscuit tins, kitchen things, piles of stones, piles of dust. We discover Kathleen Doyle’s story. She took shelter under her kitchen table, the rumbling only lasted 23 seconds. In this microcosm everything has fallen apart. Fragments of her life are there, scattered around her in the ruins, she tries to re assemble them. All is not lost, even when we are down so far there are possibilities. An unlikely meeting will take place under her table. A meeting that will show her that a way out is possible.

In ‘Mary Brown’ A woman stands alone and watches. A voice calls out   » It’s official the search is over. Madame you have to leave, you must go home »

Mary Brown crosses the security zone and climbs onto the rubble. And indeed she returns home after 23 years of absence. Her home was here. She lived here, next to Kathleen Doyle, her neighbour, her friend. Kathleen has disappeared and has left no trace in the ruins. She has not been found. This is not the first seisme that the two women have experienced. Everything crumbled 23 years ago. Mary Brown slammed the door shut, closing the friendship between her and her neighbour Kathleen Doyle. We discover the drama through Mary Brown’s eyes. Kathleen, prisoner in the ruins is unaware that she is living the last hours of her confinement. Her friend, who is not far away, will dig and search in the the rubble of her own life in order to find her.

Medias


Director’s Notes

Mary Brown is mentioned twice during the show « 36ème Dessous » released in 2011. To situate where we are; in this show I tell the story of a woman who takes refuge under her kitchen table during an earthquake. She has been there quite some time now and lives in what remains of her kitchen. She is waiting. She revisits her memories and her life and we discover she has a friend, Mary Brown, with whom she hasn’t spoken for 23 years.

This short form (just 30 minutes) was a great springboard for ‘Mary Brown’, the show. I used it as a starting point for research and development. The most interesting theme that came out was the one about the two neighbours, and that’s how the idea came up.

The two shows are a diptych whose protagonists are united by a strong bond.

For this new creation I wanted to stay with the same event, the same place – the earthquake and rubble – but this time the story is told from a different point of view.

This time we see the tragedy through the eyes of Mary Brown outside the building, who searches, seek and digs in the debris of her life.

This is not the first earthquake that the two women have experienced. Everything fell apart 23 years ago. Mary Brown slammed the door, closing the friendship between her and her neighbour Kathleen Doyle.

Kathleen, prisoner in the ruins is unaware that she is living the last hours of her confinement. Her friend, who is not far away, will dig and search in the rubble of her own life in order to find her.

I want to dig deeper into the themes of projections and the destructive effects of gossip.

I also want to talk about bravery. When we, human beings are in the dead end situations, we sometimes show great courage and are capable or super human acts.

Cast

36ème dessous

Written, directed and performed by : Colette Garrigan
Sound universe : Fabrice Bisson
Set builder : Sylvain Diamand
Lighting : Olivier Bourguignon / Jérôme Houles
Sound technicians : Antoine Quoniam / Pierre Blin

Mary Brown

Written and directed by : Colette Garrigan
Performed by : Colette Garrigan et Laura Muller
Music : Patrick Morton
Sound universe : Fabrice Bisson
Acting direction : Jean Louis Heckel
Manipulation – object theatre : Sean Myatt
Lighting : Jérôme Houles / Olivier Bourguignon
Sound technician : Antoine Quoniam
Set builder : Sylvain Diamand
Crédits photos : Virginie Meigné
The Diptych is a show suitable for 13 years and up wards
Acting – shadow theatre – object theatre
Performance length – Total 2h00 – 28 minutes for ‘36ème Dessous’ an interval of 30 minutes and 55 minutes for ‘Mary Brown’.
Audience capacity: 120 to 180 people
Stage space: 7m x 7m – Height 3,5m
Total blackout required.

PARTNERS

Production : Cie Akselere
Co-production Mary Brown – La Scène Nationale 61 d’Alençon – l’Espace Jean Vilar d’Ifs.

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