The Line

Based on a play by Israël Horovitz

Adaptation and direction: Alougbine Dine
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What a line-up
What a line-up, this unusual queue in which a quintet of Beninese actors stand in line under Alougbine Dine’s strong direction. After the solo by the first actor, who, when the spectators enter the auditorium, is already in place, determined to be « number one », entrenched in his position, picnicking even, on bread, wine, cheese, and salami… One by one, the other protagonists join the chorus along a finishing line which becomes strangely vertical: a transcending ribbon that unhinges consciences, lobotomizes the characters, and makes them lose all humanity, all self-respect.
The winning position is conquered in fierce struggles, but is hard to keep! It is slippery as an eel. Everyone has their eye on it in an infinite variation on the art of scamming and elbowing others out of the way. The cards are laid down on the table one by one: manipulation, mystification, wheedling, seduction, conning, diversion, betrayal, flattery, sycophancy… Anything goes. More than a gallery of portraits, the play by the American Israël Horovitz is a string of pearls, which Alougbine Dine blackens. Under these different climes, he polishes the same old gems of human stupidity before our watching eyes.
A tight-rope artist of the stage, Alougbine Dine successfully assumes a minimalist aesthetic, keeping only bare traits, and arriving at a skeletal outline of human behaviour. The Line becomes a cruel parody of the power games that structure our societies both in the north and south, a universal subject.
And the Atelier nomade has already been unwinding this thread for three years now in the course of its Ariadnean toing and froing, without the reel ever running out: from Benin, to Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Togo, Morocco, France, and now to Côte d’Ivoire. After a much remarked presence at the FITHEB 1997, Alougbine Dine successfully presented the show in Paris at the Afrique Noire et Blanche festival organized by Gabriel Garran at the Villette in June 1997, and the success of this promising theatre director who steadily on the up has now been confirmed at the MASA 99.

with Raphaël Hounto (Fleming), Kombert C. Quenum (Stephen), Fidèle Gbegnon (Molly), Marius Dakpogan (Arnall), Nicolas de Dravo Houenou (Dolan).
Stage design: Joseph Kpobly///Article N° : 5352


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