Richard III – Loyaulté me lie # 01

The adventure that the making of Richard III – Loyaulté me lie constitutes started in a mental health hospital. Indeed, what more fitting than to work on this play in such a particular context? After all, isn’t the main character, by excellence, the essence of abnormality, of excess, of what is uncontrollable? He certainly is. But there are also pragmatic reasons that motivated our decision to take this place as a starting point. The mental health hospital of Malévoz, in Monthey, Switzerland, is a key place for artistic residencies, and it hosts practitioners of all art forms. In association with Théâtre du Crochetan, located in the same city, the hospital is a hospice for artists and whomever the characters they embody might be, whatever the pathologies that befall them.

The Richard III rehearsals started during the summer of 2014, with an unstaged study of the text. Jean Lambert-wild, Elodie Bordas and Lorenzo Malaguerra led this part of the process. This initial focus on the play text allowed the artists to access its deeper layers; more specifically, it also allowed the team to concentrate on the role of Elodie and Jean, who will be the sole actors on stage and therefore in charge of playing the entire score. 

To stage Richard III with only two actors, when the original play contains approximately forty of them, is not just a feat to emphasise these actors’ performance. We could even go as far as to say that it has nothing to do with that, because Richard III is at once the main protagonist and the victim of a nightmare. He is a deeply isolated character, surrounded by every one of his future victims. It thus made sense to imagine Richard, alone, facing an alter ego who incarnates all these other characters. The recurring appearances of a female doppelganger who borrows several identities grants an eerie sense of terror to this infernal whirlwind. 

So, together, as a team, we read the play, and read it again. We made cuts, edited out some of the characters, and we went as far as to test its language in the terribly noisy environment of a music festival, in order to focus the play on its narrative core and distil it to the essential form that would suit our duet. 


The collaboration between Elodie Bordas, whose young career took mostly place on Swiss stages, and Jean Lambert-wild, is new. Their acting styles are complementary: Elodie’s is on the knife-edge of emotion, Jean’s focuses on technique and on presence. This combination does justice to Shakespeare’s writing. Supple, with proclamations, tragically, lightly, playfully, it restores its baroque dimension. 


Un clown, alité, face à son propre reflet, face à un double féminin qui se métamorphose, lui renvoyant l’image de...