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Culture

Onysos the Wild

By Patricia Connell
05/09/2005


Onysos the wild
by Laurent Gaudé- Directed by Séverine Ruset


Have you ever thought that one-man shows and monologues were rather dull? Well, think again. This play, presented for the first time in London, is something not to be missed. For 1 1/4 hour you will be kept alert.  Although written before September 11th, it is set in the subway in New York and continuously talks about accepting others even though they might be different. The message is all about being open to what is different. It also depicts how society is based on ideals and refuses anything different. Is it possible to live with fundamentalists for instance?

Performed at Theatre 503 – Theatre 503 is renowned for discovering contemporary plays and playwrights - by the very promising Chris Porter. He manages to take us in the depths of humanity with him. His performance is amazing.

The director, Séverine Ruset, is a young woman, who trained both at RADA and the Sorbone, and who currently teaches there now. She was captivated by the text on first reading. She immediately decided that she wanted to direct it. The hardest part was yet to come. Find an actor who could hold the stage for over an hour and who could be both young and old, who would not do this in a traditional manner and who could also be a real charmer and an animal all at the same time. She eventually found Chris.

Séverine is a very interesting person who has always been trying to work for the right causes. She went to Kosovo for instance and wrote about it for testimonials that she had received from women she met there and you do understand why this play has immediately attracted her attention. It is so full of messages.

The theatre company Rapsodie was only created 3 years ago with a view to get French Contempory theatre discovered and better understood. Often criticised for being overly complicated because what tends to be shown abroad is the less approachable material. Olivier Poivre-d’Arvor, who was the instrument behind the new French Institute when he was director of the French Institute and who now works for L’AFA, was very keen to see French Contemporary Theatre re-discovered and the stigma of being too ‘arty-farty’ removed.

Judge for yourself by going and seeing this play. I certainly had a great time and it touched a sensitive cord about homelessness that is rarely touched via the stage.

Read our review here.

Book tickets here.

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