Story for Tuesday
Recommended by Steven Laffoley-Edwards – Deputy Director (Stage & Events)
ART by Yasmina Reza (translated by Christopher Hampton)
Originally a French-language play that premiered in 1994 at Comédie des Champs-Élysées in Paris. The play subsequently ran in London in 1996, on Broadway in 1998 and at Jersey Arts Centre in 2006.
The comedy, which raises questions about art and friendship, concerns three long-time friends: Serge, Marc and Yvan. Serge, indulging his penchant for modern art, buys a large, expensive, completely white painting. Marc is horrified, and their relationship suffers considerable strain as a result of their differing opinions about what constitutes “art”. Yvan, caught in the middle of the conflict, tries to please and mollify both of them.
What do you place a value on? What makes a thing valuable? What you see as intellect and art others may see as ‘emperor’s new clothes’.
For me, as Producer of this work (only the second ever amateur production – missing being the first by one week) a memorable moment was when Yvan, played here by Stefan Gough, melts down mid-play and has a three-page monologue – delivered in what seems like one breath. My other two cast members being Jason Kenyon (Serge) and Rob Hill (Marc).
Well worth a read: well written, funny and thought-provoking.