A migrant grandfather recently arrived from a country in the Far East fleeing a war and trying hard to understand the country that welcomes him (which could be France), although he does not understand his language or his culture. That is the endearing and patient Mr. Linh protagonist of the novel by Philippe Claudel with a fabled air The granddaughter of Mr. Linh (Salamandra, 2005, La Magrana in Catalan) that now comes to the stage embodied by the actor Lluís Homar in a montage of unot the current great European directors, the Belgian Guy Cassiers.
The ney of senyor Linh, in Catalan version of Sergi Belbel, nothing less, opens Thursday at the El Canal Theater, in Salt (Girona), as part of the Temporada Alta festival and will be performed at the Teatre Lliure (13 to 30 December). The show, in which Homar plays all the roles (the narrator Linh and his friend Mr. Bark) and that adopts the point of view of the emigrant over Europe, comes at a particularly significant moment, and this is recognized by its creators, with the Vox's rise in Spain as a result of the Andalusian elections.
Cassiers affirms that he has wanted to talk about Europe today and "his confusion", and that he has tried to "understand what someone who arrives here thinks." The director is an eminently political creator who has reflected on European history and its darker aspects in shows like Duister hart, adaptation of Heart of Darkness of Joseph Conrad, or his two montages on Nazism, Le sec et l'humide, centered on the Belgian Nazi Lion Degrelle, and Les Bienveillantes, about an average French SS officer, based respectively on the essay and the celebrated novel by Johnathan Littell.
The baby granddaughter of Mr. Linh, Sang Diu, who gives the title to the novel and the play, has a special role. "It is the engine of Mr. Linh, the force that he finds to live," says Homar. "Everything is for the girl."
The director of Temporada Alta, Salvador Sunyer, highlighted in the presentation of The ney of senyor Linh the pan-European dimension of the project, which includes versions of the piece in Flemish, French, English and Catalan, with different actors, and demonstrates that "there are many Europes, there is that of the economy, but also that of culture". The montage starring Homar will also have a version in Spanish and will rotate through Spain. "The issue," Sunyer summarized, "is the refugees, something no one knows how to deal with and that is why what happens in the elections happens, and I will not mention any of them".
Cassiers pointed out the "great adventure" that is to develop the same show in different productions and languages. "Every time I put it back together with an actor from the co-producing country, they are different Linhs, the French Jérôme Kircher, the flamenco Koen De Sutter, the Homar … but at the same time the same story resonates. make them go on stage all together, offering a kind of ode to the richness and uniqueness of the various European stories. "
Cassiers stressed that the assembly with Homar is not a remake, Although there are things that are the same in all versions, and stressed that it is "a show of Lluís." The actor each time, he explained, not only says the text in his language on stage but creates images, "is responsible for helping the public develop their imagination." The story that tells the work, "is very short, the of a person who arrives in Europe, a refugee, who does not know the language; it comes from a war in your country. Claudel puts the focus on how that person sees our society, our civilization. "He shows, he said, how important is the strength of imagination to find a way to survive in the new environment." Mr. Linh's is an ideal situation , the language is always important, but it finds a bridge in friendship. The work shows how friendship can survive the language. "
For the director, the story "plays a lot, it's very moving, and it's not a black and white story."
For Lluís Homar, other colleagues who play the same role with the same director "is strange, because you always have the feeling of ownership of the character, and that there are four …". Cassiers has really liked Homar's work. "He told me he likes that I do not put myself in front of the character but at his service." The director also values the cinematographic experience of the actor, since on stage he has to act not only before the public but before a live camera.
Mr. Linh's baby granddaughter, Sang Diu, who gives the title to the novel and the play, has a special role in the play. "It's Mr. Linh's engine, the force he finds to live in. It's all for the girl." Homar highlighted his character who never feels victim, always sees the positive, but does not understand that it is so cold. He keeps hope and does not let himself be defeated. "
Homar, who is quite Caucasian, embodies Mr. Linh who comes from an Asian country, Vietnam, although Claudel does not say so. After the recent controversy that arose in the Lliure due to the fact that a white actor played a black character in Àngels to America, Is not the race of the interpreter of The ney of the senyor Linh?"They have already criticized us in the networks", lamented the artistic director of the Lliure, Aurora Rosales. "We are in the focus, whatever we do". Homar pointed out that the problem in the work is not the race of the character, but what he feels and what he says and reflected: "Should we have put a Vietnamese who speaks Catalan?". Cassiers referred to another controversy, that of Jan Fabre and the accusations that he has been made about abuses. He said that we must wait to see what the justice says and not judge the director before in the media.