AAAAHH. Long time no see, uh ? And long time without talking about drama ! Today I come in with a great play to talk about. Have you ever heard about « Art« , by Yasmina Reza ? Well, now you do.
French actress and woman of letters, Yasmina is the dramatist of the incredible and timeless play « Art« , created in 1995. This drama, which received a Molière prize, exposes three long-time friends – Marc, Serge and Yvan – fighting around a precise subject : a painting.
The story may seem simple, though it is very deep, and highlights a more implicit criticism of human behavior, exposing the contrasted point of view of each character.
I read the book last year, and I remember being impressed. Indeed, I usually don’t like to « read » a play, as I consider that drama is meant to be seen and not read. Though this particular one was so interesting and well-written that I didn’t find it unpleasant to read.
« Art » sets up three actors : Serge is a snob dermatologist interested in art, who bought a Canvas entirely painted in white with white transversal lines, that Marc, a middle-class rational guy, hates. Finally, Yvan, the third one, embodies tolerance, pacifism, he represents the mediator between these two. The story is about their argument around the painting Serge bought that turns into a cataclysmic event, each character blaming the others for causes that are completely out of context.
More than a simple argument, the story transforms the criticism of a painting into a real criticism of each character’s personality, showing the opposition between three completely different people, who, beyond their differences, manage to be friends. Moreover, each one is represented by the painting he owns, which is a kind of pictorial metaphor, a concrete reflect of themselves, that highlights even more their incompatibility.
It is also super realistic as their vocabulary is a common one, and that everyone can identify to the story – I mean, who never had a fight for a stupid reason ??
The representation I saw at the Antoine Theatre was staged by Patrice Kerbrat, with the wonderful actors Charles Berling (Marc) Alain Fromager (Serge) and Jean-Pierre Darroussin (Yvan) who performed amazingly well, and fitted perfectly their roles.
Pessimist but with a subtle sense of humour, this play is definitely a timeless master piece, and I recommend you to read/see it without further ado !!