Thursday, January 07, 2010

4. L'Effet De Serge

Gaëtan Vourc’h's performance may be minimal, but the effect of Philippe Quesne's show is maximal. L'Effet De Serge is a reminder of the possibility of theater, and by putting the utmost of confidence and sincerity into the smallest of moments, it rekindles the forgranted beauty of the everyday. Even his basic apartment brims with possibility, stretched wide with a variety of toys and electronics clustered on one end, and nothing but empty space (and carpeting) on the other. The play itself consists of Serge (Vourc'h) inviting friends over, generally one by one, and then performing a small visual effect for them, so intimately absurd (like playing with a smoke machine and the headlights of a car to the music of Wagner) that his guests are left unable to express their reaction ("I didn't know you could do that with a car"). "Time passes, time passes," explains a Beckett-like recording, allowing Serge to smoothly segue from performance to performance, and the climax comes so quickly, so quietly, that it leaves its audience smiling, nodding, and dizzily returning to the real world.

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