This season, Parisian stages seem to be particularly dominated by English writers or by productions that were originally created in London. Plays by Tom Stoppard, Alan Ayckbourn, Willy Russel and Oscar Wilde are currently running, and soon to open are David Hare's Skylight, a touring production of Fame and Pam Gem's Marlene. Completing the trend for recent London hits is Ben Elton's Popcorn which has just opened at the Theatre La Bruyere.
Elton's ferocious and cynical comedy, about a Tarantino-like director who has to face two serial killers who seem inspired by his films, raises controversial questions on the issue of violence on screen and its possible consequences. Who is responsible for the constant rise of displayed violence on small and big screens ? Film directors ? Media ? Killers ? Or the audience itself ?
This French production of Popcorn is directed by Stephan Meldegg who did the adaptation with long-time collaborator Attica Guedj. The cast is composed of mostly unknown actors. Playing the Tarantino-like director is Marc Fayet, opposite Pierre-Olivier Mornas and Lea Gabriele as the killers. Completing the cast are Jean Lescot, Melodie Berenfeld, Eliza Maillot, Geraldine Bonnet-Guerin, Ursule Piverd and Jean Mouriere.
Currently a hit in London and soon to be one in Paris -- judging by audience's reactions -- Popcorn is likely to become a worldwide cult play, with its modern content, crude language and pop culture references.
In addition, Stephen Meldegg's production of Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men (Douze Hommes En Colere) has transferred to the Theatre de la Renaissance after a successful run at the Theatre Marigny. For tickets and information on Popcorn at the Theatre de La Bruyere, call 331 48 74 76 99.
For tickets and information on Douze Hommes En Colere at the Theatre de la Renaissance, call 331 42 08 18 50.
-- By Stephane Ly-Cuong