Exchange Theater : Break of Noon by Paul Claudel

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Date(s) - 27/05/2018 - 05/06/2018
All Day

Finborough Theater

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L’image contient peut-être : ciel, océan, crépuscule, plein air, eau et nature

The English language London premiere

“Noon at the sun. Noon at the centre of our lives”

Set in Hong Kong and China at the turn of the 20th century, against the backdrop of the age of Empire and the first whispers of revolt and decolonisation, Break of Noon follows the inner journeys of four people who together depict all the multifaceted faces of Love.

Ysé is at the centre of a romantic entanglement with three men: De Ciz, her unstable husband who is obsessed with business and will do anything to open new trade markets in the East; Mesa, devoted to his Catholic faith, but who was rejected for the priesthood and feels abandoned by God; and Amalric, a fortune-seeking explorer, and Ysé’s old flame, who seems to be pushing Ysé into other men’s arms, whilst still hoping she will return to him one day…

Written in 1905, Break of Noon is a semi-autobiographical romance, based on Paul Claudel’s own real love -affair with a married woman, and his experiences as French consul in China. A modern French classic, it is a unique poetic and symbolist manifesto, in verse, on the human frailty of ambivalence and the conflicts and contradictions between physical love and spiritual faith.

Break of Noon was banned from the stage by Claudel himself for forty three years (following a recommendation from his priest during confession), until his friend, famous actor and director Jean-Louis Barrault, after he’d successfully created the epic Soulier de Satin, convinced him to allow him to produce the play in 1948. Barrault’s production, in French, for the famous Renaud-Barrault Company was seen in London in 1951. It was revived at the Comédie Francaise as recently as 2007.

Director David Furlong’s production of Moliere’s Doctor In Spite Of Himself was nominated for Best Director at the OffWestEndAwards 2017. Direction includes The Exchange (Hackney Empire), Misanthrope (Drayton Arms Theatre), The Flies (Camden People’s Theatre), Square(d) (New Wimbledon Theatre), Business (Pleasance London) and I Live With Freddie Mercury (Café-Théâtre des Chartrons, Bordeaux). David was Resident Director at the Institut Francais in South Kensington from 2010 to 2013 for which he wrote and directed twelve productions for young audiences. He has also written four full-length plays. David was Observing Staff Director to Moshe Leiser at the Royal Opera House, and is Stage Directors UK 2017’s mentee under Phelim McDermott. He trained at the National Theatre of Chaillot in Paris and is still a performer, regularly touring France and about to tour Mauritius and India in 2018 with Border Crossings Theatre.


Tickets :

  • 27 May, 2018
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