A table-vaudeville – or almost. Four acts. Thirteen characters. One actor and one actress.
Le Mystère du gant (The Mystery of the glove) tells the story of Gérard Berni-Mollin’s vendetta against his rival Raymond Duchaussoy, the day Raymond came to kidnap his mistress, Inès Berni-Mollin, Gérard’s wife, while Frédéric, Raymond’s son, came to ask for the hand of Sophie, Gérard’s daughter, who is pregnant fit to burst. In the middle of this family story: Alexandrine the amnesiac maid, a two-sided cupboard, Chantal and Bernard Couchard, a doctor dressed as a bird, the commissioner of La Folie Titon, and Claude, an immigrant employee who gets shot at, loses an arm, gets shot again and dies. Many spectators will also perish during the performance.
Léonard Berthet-Rivière and Muriel Legrand revisit the art of vaudeville. They slalom between stage directions and surf on absurdity in a joyful and frenzied reading.
We dive with them into secrets of history as if into a frenetic score, animated by oral sound effects, mustaches and the most incredible reversals.
As Le Mystère du gant unfolds, the scale of the vaudeville explodes. In the end it goes far beyond a simple reading and attains to the rank of performance in its own right and gives vaudeville its letters of nobility.
We are happy that someone came to remind us of it.
World Première 16.09.2022
Création Studio Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles
Coproduction Théâtre de Liège
A pastiche whose author, Roger Dupré, does not exist, a pretext for reviving a popular genre, Le Mystère du gant is an absurd vaudeville, a table reading whose characters, settings, actions and situations exist only in the public imagination.
We sit in on a play reading by two actors.
As the public enters, a table and two chairs stand centre stage. Functional furniture necessary for reading a text. From this sober installation the audience project themselves into the story of the actors. They make up their own idea of the characters, and create a mental architecture of the décor. They imagine and embroider.
Let them do it, it's beautiful.
A few simple props appear throughout the show, small theatrical artifices: balloons, a fake arm, moustaches... As if the actors, getting more and more into the game of reading, had taken what they had on hand to illustrate their point, going deeper into the characters and plots.
The increasing absurdity creates a profusion of images and twists by the end of the play. A tempest of twists and turns overflows into the room, the audience become part of the intrigue.
The play is no longer read but performed by the actors, but nothing is added to the scenography, we’re in the same place, the viewer mentalises.
The denouement is coming and everything could end there,
Suddenly a complete set appears, or at least the idea of a set incorporating the elements and objects present in the room, a very busy and colourful, almost abstract, evocation of the living room in which the play Le Mystère du gant could have been performed. A large painted curtain unrolls in the background, pop-up objects appear on stage, a fake jet of water shoots out of the wings
The austerity of a undressed stage suddenly gives way to a multitude of pictorial objects in the centre of which the actors change scale, drown, almost disappear.
The set which suddenly appeared at the very end of the show, remains visible until the audience leaves, underlining the derision, the weight of the imagination and the absolute volatility of the theatre. Going from asceticism to overload leaves the audience with an absurd and aberrant image of the performance they have just witnessed.
02.07.2022 > 03.07.2022
16.09.2022 > 24.09.2022
22.11.2022 > 23.11.2022
12.01.2023 > 13.01.2023
29.03.2023 > 31.03.2023
07.07.2023 > 24.07.2023
27.09.2023 > 28.09.2023
18.10.2023 > 20.10.2023
28.11.2023 > 30.11.2023
20.03.2024 > 22.03.2024
OPTION 26.03.2024 > 30.03.2024
04.04.2024 > 05.04.2024
16.04.2024 > 26.04.2024
Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles
International Touring : Céline Gaubert - Head of touring and international relations
Touring in Belgium : Matthieu Defour - Production and tour manager
Production : Juliette Thieme - Head of production
Available for booking: 2022·2023 - 2023·2024 - 2024·2025 - 2025·2026
Video available upon request
Christophe Van Hove
Marion De Gussem
Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles
Théâtre de Liège
A partnership with
La Chaufferie-Acte 1
With the support of
de Le Corridor, Latitude 50 - Pôle des arts du cirque et de la rue, L’Infini théâtre
Special thanks to
Toutes les équipes du Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles ainsi que Patricia Alen, Mathias Anciaux, Pierre Bajyana Songa, Françoise Bloch, Ulysse Bossard, Quentin Chaveriat et La Ligue des Cyclistes, Manuel Chemla, Marianne Clair, Jean-Louis Colinet, Patrick Corillon, Fanny Cuvelier, Florence Dangotte, Delphine De Baere, Axel De Booseré et le Royal Festival de Spa, Marie Devroux, Nora Dolmans, Fanny Donckels, Justine Donnay, Marie Du Bled, Manon Dublanc, Jean-Paul Fréhisse, Marion Gabelle, Julie Gallifet, Florence Godart, Nathanaël Harcq et le Conservatoire Royal de Liège, Dominique Houcmant, Anne Jaspard, Valérie Kurevic, Benjamin Lichou, Anne-Marie Loop, Olivier Minet, Meryl Moens, Aurélie Molle, Olivier Parfondry, Nicolas Payet, Antoine Renard, Dominique Roodthooft, Dominique Serron, Françoise Sougné, Philippe Taszman, Léopold Terlinden, Damien Trapletti, Michel Van Slijpe, Vincent Verboogen et Marthe Wetzel.