Archive for the ‘Theatre de l’arc en ciel’ Tag

Blue sky Friday morning

I’ve woken up with lots of energy this morning. I slept with the window open which brought in a lot of noise from the street, but also lots of cool air which was refreshing counter to the relentless centralised heating in this building. (I am staying on Ile-St-Louis again).

Last night I went to the theatre again – another performance by Theatre de l’arc-en-ciel, this time of Les Tolstoi – Journal Intime (The Tolstoys – Intimate Diary), which told of the marriage and life shared between Leo and Sonia Tolstoy. It’s an epic story indeed that starts with their meeting and marriage (when Sonia is 17 and Tolstoy is 34) and ends with Tolstoy’s death and a fleeting image of the great changes under the newly arrived communists.

Tolstoy poster

I loved it! It was written by CP’s mother and she is in Paris at the moment. I read the script in English beforehand, and unlike Monday night’s play, I found I could follow the dialogue and action quite successfully.

Seeing theatre in another language is interesting as it really encourages you to read everything that is taking place on the stage. All the nuances of interaction. I am always amazed, after reading a script, at the ability and skill of the actors and creative team to bring the words from the page into life. When I read it, and hear the words in my head, it sits quite flat.

So, it looks like today will be sunny and fine! I now have a plan for the next rainy day (to explore the undercover passages and arcades that criss-cross one section of the city).

Today I could:

  • Walk to Bercy village which has undergone a transformation in recent years and now has many small boutique shops and cafes and village feel. I need to buy some presents for people and this could be the place to do it;
  • Head to Belleville, where there is a park on a hill with views across this mostly flat city. This area is known as Paris Mondiale, a microcosm of the many nationalities that call Paris their home, from North Africa and Asia and all over…
  • Montmartre and Sacre Coeur?
  • Head to the galleries on foot. There is an exhibition of art from Iran (in the Sephardic tradition) that I’d like to see… as well as a return visit to the Musee d’Orsay, in part to enjoy once again the cafe on the top floor that is illuminated by the large railway clock/window, a very photogenic place to enjoy a coffee or chocolat chaud.

So many possibilities. I’ll choose soon.

New boots

I bought new boots on the weekend. It took quite a lot of wandering up and down the streets, in and out of shops, trying on and pulling off. They are different in style to what I normally wear. CP gave a barely-discernible shudder when he saw them and said, “They’re a bit scary, aren’t they?” That was because they are pointy. For some reason CP immediately associated them with a swift (and scary) coup au zizi. So to speak. Hopefully I would never have any need to give such a coup.

Here I am thinking about them, and wondering if I have made the right choice:Gill thinkingAnd this is a view of the points:dscf0059.jpg

Yesterday I caught up with an old friend from Melbourne, SH, who lives near CP on the Ile-Saint Louis. We went for un chocolat chaud a l’ancienne in a fairly touristy cafe near her home (which is in the heart of tourist territory given that it has a gorgeous view of Notre Dame) with an unusually attentive waiter who took it upon himself to give her a hasty shoulder massage as he walked past us. We both raised our eyebrows at each other. “Does that often happen here?” I queried. No, she assured me. It doesn’t.

Last night I went to the theatre. CP was performing in a remount of a play Etty Hillesum, in which he is one of four performers, playing violin (music he composed) as well as acting with some proudly delivered lines. It was all in French, but CP had given me a copy of the script in English to read beforehand. Despite that, it was hard to follow the dialogue. Afterwards, one of his friends asked me if I had enjoyed it. Yes, I had, I replied, but added honestly that I hadn’t really understood it.

“Oh”, she said, surprised. “What didn’t you understand?”

“The French”, (of course), I replied! I think she thought I meant the storyline of the play. Anyway…