I’m continuing my foreign language theme this week with Trois Raptures (Three Splits). The play is part of En Scene! which is a series of performances in French presented by the Institut Français. Directed by Marianne Badrichani, Trois Raptures brings together three different scenes which focus on relationships between men and women. Writer Remi de Vos uses the couple to explore gender equality, ideas about sexuality, and the dynamics of a relationship when a child is added to the equation. What is brought to the stage is an hour of comical dialogue which brilliantly bounces back and forth between two performers.
The small space of the Chelsea Theatre allowed the performers to engage well with the audience, so even though there were only two actors, they commanded the stage very well. Edith Vernes was superb, and her comic delivery was brilliant. Equally Christopher Campbell was very entertaining to watch. I think the two had great chemistry on stage which made their characters’ struggles believable and genuine, and the play engaging as a whole. My favourite scene has to be the one with the discussion about a fireman named Steve. The comedy was perfectly presented by the subtle gestures and correctly times pauses, which made this scene hilarious.
The simple presentation of the stage is very effective and avoids any distractions. This allows the great performers to bring to life De Vos’ humorous writing, drawing the focus onto his darkly comic language – sometimes we really shouldn’t be laughing be we just can’t help it. Trois Ruptures is a very enjoyable piece with excellent actors and a perfectly written script. With its satisfying running time, the show is a burst of comedy that is easily digestible, and I would definitely recommend it.