Theater: “On the royal road”: the disguise of the world

It really is about him, although he is never named. Donald Trump imposes his evil presence, throughout this river text written just after his election, on November 4, 2016, by the Austrian novelist Elfriede Jelinek.

The one who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004 slays this extraordinary character from start to finish, insisting on his vulgarity, his amateurism, his disproportionate taste for money, his contempt for women and the people, his hatred of migrants and others. undesirable like his deleterious tweets… also painting the portrait of a disoriented society that no longer trusts democracy.

A sinister clown

This harsh, sinuous, complex text, in the meanderings of which one often gets lost, is superbly brought to light by the deep voice, the limpid diction and the mobile body of Christèle Tual. In an immaculate white setting, cut by a large panel where images and videos will be projected – notably of Californian forests on fire – a chair, also white, on which the actress sits, facing the public .

Dressed in a sweatshirt and a cap, a can of Coke resting at her feet, she begins a caustic monologue that will last an hour and a half, centering on the accession of a new king, a sinister clown who brags “to buy the truth” and “to have everything and everyone”… Dressed in black, a case filled with accessories around her waist, make-up artist Pauline Legros begins her rounds around the actress and, with fluid and precise gestures, without ever uttering a word, will transform her into multiple characters…

Melania Trump larger than life

And Christèle Tual allows herself to be dressed, undressed, styled, made up, painted nails, put on false eyelashes, fake breasts… without interrupting her story, punctuated by the musical variations of composer Wolfgang Mitterer.

Before our eyes, she becomes Oedipus with blind and bloody eyes, Elfriede Jelinek herself with her so particular hairstyle, different versions of Trump – dressed in a giant costume with red tie and golden crown, decked out in a pig mask and wearing straw hair… –, Melania Trump larger than life, perhaps the most successful metamorphosis, up to this angel with wispy wings inspired by Paul Klee.

Masterful from start to finish, Christèle Tual embodies with chilling ease all these figures evoked in the work against the populist leader, subtly directed by Ludovic Lagarce. “What system have we built? What have we become to place voluntarily – democratically! – a clown like the head of the United States? » Questions that always resonate with current events.

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