The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in partnership with the Center for French Civilization and Culture at New York University, is thrilled to present Courteline en dentelles (Courteline in Lace) with Jérôme Deschamps and Michel Fau in its New York premiere on Wednesday, February 29 and Thursday, March 1 at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall. Both performances will be in French with English supertitles.
In this hilarious series of seven short plays by satirical writer and dramatist Georges Courteline, a contemporary of Georges Feydeau, luminary director and actor Jérôme Deschamps pokes fun at the inherent foolishness of human nature accompanied by acclaimed stage actor Michel Fau. The two spirited thespians take up the gauntlet and affront idiocracy head on, their riotous banter revealing the comedy in malaise, cowardice, baseness, and hypocrisy, among other everyday human failings. Garbed in formal eveningwear and lace bonnets, the actors read from two stands, their raillery frequently erupting into pure improvisation.
An often autobiographical portrait of early 20th century society, Courteline en dentelles includes several scenes inspired by the playwright’s own nocturnal escapades. Obtuse soldiers, zealous functionaries, indignant employees, spineless husbands, and demented dandies inhabit this insightful work in which the language lays bare the characters’ truths and reveals their ineptitudes. Alternating male and female roles, Jérôme Deschamps and Michel Fau navigate Courteline’s complex universe with roguish wit and ferocious irony, their caustic verbal jousting pushing situations and dialogues to the limits of dramatic folly.