Richard III – Loyaulté me lie # 05

King Edward played by a mannequin that works like a cuckoo clock, operated by pulleys; Queen Elizabeth’s sons represented by moving mouths on a wheel with strobe light; the animated faces of Prince Edward and the Duke of York, projected onto a ball of candyfloss that is quickly devoured.



To summon the terrifying spectre of Richard, the king actor, we combine in our Richard III the most rudimentary and the most advanced of techniques. Far from making technology one of the production’s focus, which would turn the interaction between human and machine into another power play, technology joins the other technical elements of the production: lighting, scenography, and costume design, to frame in detail the myth that is Richard. When we borrow from theatre “à l’italienne”, with its stage frame and in which painted sets are attached to hangers operated by pulleys, or when we use “mapping”, a technique that allows to project animated faces onto balloons, the same thing is at stake. We use the big machine that the theatre is to play and take the audience on a journey through an imaginary world. 

Our artistic team made the trip to Austin, Texas, to create the many ghosts of Richard. There, we collaborated with engineers, computer scientists and students associated with the artistic laboratory Future Perfect. We have pushed technical mastery to this extent because we want to liberate ourselves from it, we want to allow ourselves a greater freedom of tone and interpretation, therefore reinforcing the illusion created by the play. This dimension is especially important because of that one main question: how can two actors impersonate the forty or so characters that compose the whirlwind of the play? From this perspective, the vitalised puppets are no more than another thread that the actors can activate to breathe life into their dreams. In the same way that Richard III is a polymorphic sovereign who, using rhetorical excellence and a powerful ability to play, adjusts the world to his very desires, Jean Lambert-wild and Élodie Bordas are grown children with acting palettes rich of today’s and yesterday’s deus ex machina. Using them, they can give life to terrifying daydreams. 

The colourful theatrical machine is here to emphasise the actors’ work. They know how to use it and transform every element of the stage, for the benefit of their vision’s internal fire. In the same way, Richard knows how to use his deformity and put his terrible universe at the head of the state. In the end, the technique of the actors is the greatest one: they project the timbre of their voice across a whole room, they know and experience paradoxical emotions and transform their mask into the coherent theatre of the audience’s desires. The technical detour, far from diluting and dispersing what is at stake in the play, brings us closer to what it means to be human, to the smallness of our body and the immensity of our will.


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