Will the gore aesthetic be the next trend in the French theatre ? While Hygiene de l'assassin currently running at the Petit Theatre de Paris contains some stomach-churning dialogues, Neron, a new play by young French playwright Gabor Rassov, is even more challenging to the audience. People seated in the first rows might get the risk to be spattered by blood, bits of crushed head, spurting intestines or, in the best of cases, feathers from a pillow.
Neron depicts the rise and fall of the infamous Roman Emperor and his 15-years reign. The murderous and cruel pastimes of the Emperor are largely -and graphically- described on stage. The play, directed by Pierre Pradinas, features a cast of 13 including film star Marie Trintignant as Poppee, Brigitte Catillon as Agrippine and the playwright himself as Othon. Portraying the Roman emperor is film actor Denis Lavant who starred in Leos Carax's movies Mauvais Sang and Les Amants du Pont-Neuf. In both films, Lavant's co-star was Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche.
An original stage music has been written by Dom Farkas (who is also featured on stage as Isacayus) and alternates modern rythms (rap, techno. . .) with more traditional sounds. The play ends with a musical number that could easily be a cross between Hair and The Night of the Living Dead. Written with a very modern language, the play also includes a lot of anachronisms.
For tickets and information on Neron at the Trianon, call 331 44 92 78 04. Runs until Feb. 1.
-- By Stephane Ly-Cuong