This Theatre Des Bouffes Du Nord production combined a quirky Chekhov one act play with classical French comedic theatre techniques along with powerful classical music to bring off a great night’s entertainment.
The quality of the musicianship was superb – Floriane Bonnani (Violin and Original Concept), Muriel Ferraro (Soprano) and Emmanuelle Swiercz (Piano) set a high standard for their playing of the Bach, Tchaikovsky and Berio pieces.
The music took place in the context of Chekhov’s narrative where Nioukhine (Michel Robin) is the surrounded-by-women co-proprietor of a pensionnat for girls. In an eloquent performance Michel Robin conveyed his character’s sense of hopelessness, in particular his difficulties with his wife. These feelings were further brought out by Luciano Berio’s agonising, deeply moving Sequenxa Vill.
I was completely blown away by the musicality of all the players, especially Floriane Bonanni’s violin playing. Wow!
A Sydney Festival and Sydney Opera House production performed in French with English surtitles, ON THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF TOBACCO played the Drama Theatre at the Sydney Opera House between the 22nd and 25th January.