Yesterday evening I went to see a play at the Théâtre des Clochards Célestes, over towards Croix Rousse. It was a one person play, lasting a little over an hour. The staging was beautifully simple: the actress – Mathilde Arnaux – seated on a stool in the middle of the stage, with two large screens behind her onto which video was projected. The images were loose and impressionistic, shifting colours from which details sometimes emerged. It was a superb way of capturing the half-understanding which was key to the play, the seen and the unseen. Lili has some learning disabilities (quite what is never made clear) and her experience is profoundly sensory. The marriage of performed words and visuals worked well to convey hypersensitivity, the level of stimulation simple environments can offer, the awareness most of us neglect.
It was a powerful reminder of how a carefully controlled combination of environment and narrative can draw us into another’s experiences and make them vivid, make them real.