Polichinelle vs. Orfeo in the Ring at Avignon

My Lord Spectator,

Since the new President of the Republic, the former President of the Republic, the new Prime Minister, the former Prime Minister, the Opposition, the Majority, the Right, the Left, the Extreme Right, the Extreme Left, the System, the Anti-System, all the new, the former and future Mighty of the Universe put it into their heads to bark speeches at you on so many different subjects, don't think badly of me, Polichinelle, the new Self-Proclaimed Artistic Director of the ensemble Faenza, if I come piss on the wall of your attention and inundate it with a flood of words!

In the position of Orator of the Puppets, I have come to tell you that you should pardon us for presenting next July, from the 7th to the 29th, at the Chapeau d’Ébène Théâtre in Avignon, a parody of the Orpheus myth, entitled – aptly-named, with the words in the correct order – Polichinelle et Orphée aux enfers (Polichinelle and Orpheus in Hades). Here is the reason why.

Don't they say that great minds meet? Well, Polichinelle and Orpheus had to meet each other. What's more, my Lord Spectator, don't hope to see a troupe of bellowing actors, perspiring dancers and out-of-breath acrobats turn up there, no! Considering the economic situation in the wake of budgetary restrictions having to do with the rise in price of a pound of potatoes, with the difficulties of life, with the absence of hard cash, with diminishing financial aid from the Region, from the Community, from the Municipalities, from the Town, from the Village, from the Neighborhood, from the Block, from the Apartment Building and from the Sister of my Mother-in-Law, we had to fire three quarters of our troupe. All that's left to us are two broke, and what's more, practically voiceless singers, obliged to accompany themselves on the theorbo and the spinet, in the service of your little Servant of Wood's immense talent... Also, we ask you, we beg you, to support the skits that we are going to present to you during the month of our performances with your voices and your enthusiasm.

In this extraordinary show, on which blows the rebellious spirit of the Théâtres de Foire (fairground theaters) – a spirit quite French if ever there was one – you will see me in all my Glory defy Men, the Gods and even... Women! You will meet Orpheus and Eurydice, Pluto and Proserpine, you will voyage in the entrails of the Earth, you will hear beautiful airs of Baroque Opera sung, as well as the most charming satirical songs of the Opéra Comique. You will also sing yourselves, young and old, if that would amuse you, just as your ancestors did 300 years ago, delighted to support itinerant actors in their struggles with established troupes who at all costs wanted to deprive them of music.

Come and see us at the Chapeau d'Ebène Théâtre - 13 Rue Velouterie, 84000 Avignon
from July 7th to the 29th, except Wednesdays, at 10:15 AM.
To reserve your tickets, telephone 04 90 82 21 22
Ticket prices : 10€/7€/5€

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Translations by Sally Gordon Mark

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