He is famous both for his crude and poetic theatre, where fiction is dense and powerful, and for his plays destined to young audiences – Bouli Miro was the first young public play to be selected and presented by Comédie Française in 2002. His singular universe, both serious and charming, his sense of ellipse, play after play, raise the question of evil without ever retreat into limits of a unique subject or a realistic theatre. Because Fabrice Melquiot never gives lesson. What does matter, for this poetic committed, it’s to question our world and to ensure that we ask ourselves as well. Writing comes down to run after a prey that we could never catch. “A battle already lost, a quiet hunt”.
Fabulamundi involved Fabrice Melquiot in activities in Berlin and in Târgu Mureș.
Fabrice Melquiot was born in Modane in 1972. He has published about forty plays at L’Arche Editeur. He received the Paul Gilson Grand Prize of public radio Community of French language, SACD Prize of best radio play, Jean-Jacques Gauthier Prize of Figaro and two Prizes of Syndicat National de la Critique. Associated to director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota during six years, at Centre Dramatique National de Reims, Fabrice Melquiot sees his plays staged at Théâtre de la Bastille and Theatre des Abbesses in Paris. This collaboration continues at Théâtre de la Ville, in Paris, where Fabrice Melquiot is associate author. In 2008, he received Prix Théâtre de l’Académie Française for his entire body of work. His texts are translated and represented in a dozen of languages. Since 2012, he is director of Théâtre Am Stram Gram in Geneva, International Center of Creation for Children and Youth.
1999 / Le Jardin de Beamon, published by L’École des loisirs
1999 / Les Petits mélancoliques, published by L’École des loisirs
2001 / Perlino Comment, youth, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2001 / La Semeuse, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2001 / Percolateur Blues, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2001 / L’Inattendu, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2002 / Kids, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2002 / Le Diable en partage, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2002 / Bouli Miro, youth, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2002 / The Ballad of Lucy Jordan, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2002 / Autour de ma pierre il ne fera pas nuit, published by, L’Arche Éditeur
2003 / L’enfant dieu, published by L’École des loisirs
2003 / Le Gardeur de silences, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2004 / L’Actrice empruntée, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2004 / Le Laveur de visages, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2004 / C’est ainsi mon amour que j’appris ma blessure, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2004 / Ma vie de chandelle, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2004 / Veux-tu?, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2004 / Albatros, youth, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2005 / Bouli redeboule, youth, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2005 / Catalina in fine, youth, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2005 / Je rien te deum, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2005 / Caravanes, published by Espaces 34
2005 / Exeat, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2005 / Faxxman, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2005 / Je peindrai des étoiles filantes et mon tableau n’aura pas le temps, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2005 / Sâlat Al-Janâza, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2005 / Marcia Hesse, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2006 / Lisbeths, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2007 / Wanted Petula, youth, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2007 / Alice et autres merveilles, youth, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2007 / Tasmanie, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2008 / Faire l’amour est une maladie mentale qui gaspille du temps et de l’énergie, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2009 / Eileen Shakespeare / Pollock, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2009 / Le Jeu d’histoires libres, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2009 / Otto Witte, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2010 / Modane, regroupant trois pièces: Tarzan Boy, M’man et Miss Electricity, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2010 / 399 secondes / Hart-Emily / Le Cabinet de curiosités, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2010 / Blanches, youth, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2011 / Guitou, youth, published by L’Arche Éditeur
2012 / Qui surligne le vide avec un cœur fluo?, published by Le Castor Astral
2012 / Days of nothing, published by L’Arche Éditeurv
2012 / Frankenstein, youth, published by L’Arche Editeur
Le hibou, le vent et nous
1979. Sébastien and Lola are seven and eight. They meet in the snow during the Christmas night. As a lot of children do, he is convinced he is an adopted child and that his real parents are owls. Her only concern is to see the wind. Sébastien’s big brother, Gérald, knows they’ve run away without leaving his elder brother’s bed. Thirty-five years later, Lola and Sébastien still love each other. They’re expecting a child. Sébastien’s mother died a month earlier. Sébastien wants to sell the family house, but Gérald refuses to do so. Two brothers of 42 and 45, together, it is exactly like an old picture that starts coming to life. Past and present get intertwined, things left unsaid re-appear, they’re trying to antagonise each other and manage to do so. Fortunately the presence of childhood and of a few Italian songs give them direction and comfort. All the ages of life co-exist in them.
– Extracts from Le hibou, le vent et nous –
Leave us alone, Lola.
Gérald is talking to me as if I had no importance anymore. As if I wasn’t the same Lola he’s known forever. And Sébastien doesn’t even answer back: she stays there, Lola, you stay there, stay. He doesn’t even utter the sentence I’m waiting for. So then, I’m excluded from the game, I leave the men to their own devices. I go in the next room, with my baby in my belly. Everything has suddenly become strange to me. Everything. The man I love. The brother of the man I love. The furniture. The objects. This salt dough owl that’s been on the shelf in the house hall for thirty years. The smells. The light.
What is it you want?
This is the house where once everything was alive. This is the house I live in. I live in this house, I do. I have nothing much to live on, but I do live. You have a flat, you do. That’s a nice flat you have.
You’ve never been to my flat. We live 60 miles away from here and you’ve never been to our place.
I’ve seen pictures. You have Lola, you do. You’re going to be a Dad. You’re an executive.
I’m an executive.
Well yes, you’re an executive.
I’m an executive.
In a company, yes you are. An executive in a company. A boss, I mean. You’re a boss, that’s a hell of an achievement.
And what does that exactly mean, I’m an executive?
I’m not sure. I. you’re an executive, I mean. A boss, you’re a boss. A boss slash executive, an executive slash boss, you give orders, I mean. I. What type of a company you’re in?
In a company that deals with international relations.
You’re in international relations, is that right? That’s good, good, must be interesting. There you are. That’s exactly what I was saying: you’re a boss. So you’re an executive.
You don’t know a thing about me, you don’t. You don’t call, you don’t. You don’t ask how is it going, you don’t.
Sure I do.
No, you don’t.
I’m asking you now.
I’ve lost my job. It’s been a month now, I. I’ve been pretending to go to work. That’s how it is.
You’ve been pretending to?
I’m doing what all those men that love their wives and pretend to go to work do. Lola doesn’t know a thing about this, like all those wives that don’t know their men are pretending to go to work.
You’re not an executive anymore?
You don’t work in international relations anymore?
It didn’t last long then. For me, I mean, considering I’d just learnt about it.
I need the house to be sold, because I need the money. Too many things, too many objects, too many thingamajigs, I have too many threads, too much of everything. I’m going to be a father, you have no idea what’s going on in your head when it happens. I’m going to be an unemployed father. “Daddy, Daddy Cool on the dole”, that’s what my daughter’s going to sing. What’s she going to think of me?
A baby doesn’t think. It’s like having a guinea-pig. You’ve got time.
Lola wants to stop giving lessons. She wants to devote herself to the baby girl full time. I’ve been looking for a job, you see. I’ve been trying hard. I’ve been looking and looking but I can’t find a job.
I’m thinking about those thousands of hours spent in this house, this big house that’s been emptying itself, where life’s been lived with its meals spent watching TV, its birthday parties, its fits of laughter, its hassles. I’m thinking about those hundreds of thousands of minutes, those thousands of thousands of seconds, maybe millions, I can’t even try to calculate. I’m walking out of the kitchen. I’m walking in the corridor, in my night gown. I’m walking through the rooms of the house until I reach the hall. It will turn to snow outside , because it’s still winter. I’m putting on a coat that I found in the built-in closet in the hall. That’s the Mother’s coat. One of the coats the Mother used to wear. I’m going out with my belly and the child. In the heart of winter. In the heart of darkness. Towards the morning that will break for its christening. I’m walking towards the wood. Because only trees, only animals, only snow, only animal tracks in the snow and under the trees, only hours spent outside the world, outside any contact with organized life, only moments spent away from the beaten path can say what is true.