October 24, 2021

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In search of happiness

Nearly ninety years after its publication, the anticipatory literary classic The best in the world It appears more important than ever in the dynamic theatrical adaptation provided by Le Trident.

It is a clever re-reading, stripped of cultural references to the period of Aldous Huxley’s novel in favor of nods to contemporary technologies (smart watches and the mass presence of advertising on various platforms), that Guillaume Korbel signs into this piece. Great masterfully and rhythmically orchestrated by Nancy Bernier.

In 1932, Huxley envisioned an utopian world in which human beings, conceived in a laboratory, would lead a happy life in a hierarchical society of obscene consumption where reading a book is forbidden, even hated.

Humans with real parents, and by birth, are excluded. At the center of the story is precisely the unexpected arrival in town of two of them, the sensitive, unconditional John of Shakespeare, and his mother Linda, who disrupts the orderly lives of Alpha Lenina, Heimholtz and Bernard, and is himself skeptical of his condition.

call for art

Vincent Beckett makes an impressive quip, John trying to impress the trio with robotic gestures into the emptiness of life without real feelings, even negative ones. He praises the virtues of art for them to learn to feel.

It may not be the best of luck where you thought it was found.

Ironically, its vibrant appeal has had a strangely contemporary resonance in the midst of a pandemic where art is, as in Huxley’s dystopian world, a nonessential service for the past eighteen months.

In addition to the impeccable work of the six actors, some of the discoveries regarding the powerful staging of multimedia are the strength of this aesthetic adaptation reminiscent of the ’80s music video era, carried with so much humor. dose.

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A sequence in the first act raises concerns about the misuse of the three giant screens lining up behind the scenes, but Nancy Bernier instead manages to make good use of it wisely, with the technology here at the service of the play.

The best in the world It is one of those works that raise questions and reflections, the first of which is: Did Huxley guess in which world we will live in the twenty-first century?

We were sure plenty to put it in front of us, when the curtain fell, while putting on our mask and consulting our cell phone when leaving the room.

Wretched, I said?

The best in the world, performing at the Grand Theater until October 9, with Ariane Belavance-Favard, David Bouchard, Simone Lepage, Vincent Beckett, Sophie Thibault and Anis Zachary.