La Compagnie THÉÂTRE DES HOMMES presents
with the support of LA SOCIÉTÉ LITTÉRAIRE DE LA POSTE,
FRANCE TÉLÉCOM & FRENCH EMBASSY IN PAKISTAN
FEAR AND TREMBLING (STUPEUR ET TREMBLEMENTS)
of AMÉLIE NOTHOMB
Adapted, staged and interpreted by
In Lettres Persanes, Montesquieu denounced with humor many prejudices of our « western » perspective, through the vision of Persian ladies travelling among us. With Fear and Trembling, Amélie Nothomb also sets the record straight with westerners.
No ! and no ! Fear and Trembling is not an attack on the Japanese way of living, nor a value judgment. On the opposite, it is a humble, funny and intelligent point of view from a young woman confronted to a new world. The message it carries could be : Let’s observe and listen carefully, before we hastily judge the Other. This is what we tried to do, in bringing Nothomb’s words on stage. As she mentions herself : «The moment is nothing. Your life is nothing. No duration counts that is shorter than then thousand years».
I immersed myself with great pleasure and excitement in Amélie Nothomb’s narrative stream. Like thousands of invigorating water drops, her sensations and images made me chuckle with joy. Didn’t she say herself that in front of a good table, she could chuckle with pleasure ? Amélie Nothomb has her own way with words, and with such words, theater is around the corner.
Amélie Nothomb’s writing is strong, deep, sensual, intelligent, absurd, painful, one only has to express it, to let it y over the audience, and it will deliver all that it carries. Thanks to Amélie Nothomb, the Belgian exiled in Japan. Thanks to Amélie Nothomb, the woman exiled from childhood. Thanks to Amélie Nothomb for her wonderful ability to reinvent life, and drown pain into this beautiful child’s laughter. This is what we tried to conjure up on stage. I hope you will feel like coming and play in Amélie Nothomb’s hopscotch game.
Layla Metssitane is an actress and director of Moroccan origin. After her legal situation in France was stabilized when she was fifteen, she took part in a theater workshop at the Centre Dramatique National of Dijon, under the direction of Jacques Fornier. Later, under the direction of various theater figures (Anne Delbée, Gabriel Garran, Philippe Adrien, Jacques Vincey, Marcel Bozonnet, Mouss Zouheiry, Xavier Carrar...), she interpreted poetic, classical and contemporary works, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream (William Shakespeare), Le Partage de Midi (Break Noon) (Paul Claudel), Andromaque and Phèdre (Jean Racine), Antigone (Sophocles), Arthur Adamov, Madame de Sade (Y. Mischima)...
In 2006, the Théâtre des Hommes company is created. In 2007, she directs for the first time on a national stage in Fort-de-France, and then in 2009 at the UNESCO, a play called Palabre en Négritude around Aimé Césaire. This first creation is mentioned since 2011 in French Studies high-school manuals. In 2007, she creates another play (directed by Xavier Carrar) with her company around the poetic works of Taslima Nasreen, with three actresses, in three languages (French, Arabic, and sign language).
In 2010, she works with Edgar Morin, sociologist and philosopher, on the theme of «Otherness», and directs on stage Jean Genet’s play Haute Surveillance (Deathwatch) as part of the celebration of the centenary of the poet’s birth.
She also creates a stage adaptation of Stupeur et tremblements (Fear and Trembling) by Amélie Nothomb (Grand Prize for a novel, awarded by the Académie Française in 1999) at Avignon’s off festival - «best selection» for the press.
This show is on an international tour since 2012 (selected by the Foundation for the Alliances Françaises). It is the first theatrical adaptation for the company. A second adaptation is created for Avignon’s 2011 theater festival Où on va papa ?(Where We Going, Daddy) by Jean-Michel Fournier (Femina prize, in 2008). The adaptation was made by Xavier Carrar. The show was part of Arte-SACD’s best selection for the festival).
For the past two years, she also plays for movies and TV in Europe and in Maghreb countries. In 2013, she appears as Scheherazade in Il était une fois les mille et une nuits (Once Upon A Time The Arabian Nights), a docufiction from Arte (aired in march 2013).