Clov and Hamm, inseparable enemies at the Atelier in Paris


There he was, feet on the ground, body swaying slightly, arms drooping, eyes blurred, mouth shut. In a room with two over-high windows, bare walls, two metal drums and an armchair covered in a white sheet, the man seems to be suspended in mid-air. Words will come, there is no impatience, this silence is nourishing. Here they come. “It’s done. It’s over and it will be over. It might be over. » Then: Grains are added to grains, one by one, day by day, all at once, in a pile, a small pile, an impossible pile. »

With this very specific way of modulating his voice and his incredibly sculpted body, Denis Lavante once again proves that he is an actor of rare power. Samuel Beckett has found his language smuggler, and the words rain down one after the other, expressing all the absurdity of an existence that does not want to end, that of Clover.

The last firefly in life

Frédéric Leidgens emerges from under the sheets. He is Hamm. With dark glasses covering his blind eyes, a green hat, a blanket over his knees, and a whistle around his neck, he never leaves the chair with the big wheels. Only his slender hands flew around him, as if trying to catch the last firefly in a life that also didn’t want to end.

The quality of his performances is very high, and he is no less than his partner on stage. Under the highly sensitive direction of Jacques Osinski, the two make Samuel Beckett’s enigmatic and beautiful text quiver in unison, written four years later in 1957. waiting for godot. The director has staged three plays by Irish playwright and Nobel laureate Dennis Lavant – to the worst, last band and picture. Frédéric Leidgens joins them for a fourth crossing, a work as powerful as it is melancholic.

Forced to live in a space where only two battered bodies remain, they face a future of horrific loneliness and confiscation. One was paralyzed, the other limp. One talkative, one silent. The days go by, the stories go by, always the same, and so do the gestures, the same. Hamm whistles and Clover appears. Hamm ordered, Clover carried out. He unfolded the ladder and climbed a few wooden steps, only to catch a glimpse of the void behind the curtain, and he came down again, folded it, and re-deployed it in front of another window.

“Cursed Ancestors”

The other two characters share this narrow gray space (“light black” Clover said). Nagg and Nell are embodied by the excellent Peter Bonke and Claudine Delvaux. They come out of the trash can like wretches with the lids on their heads.Those are “Cursed Ancestors”this “adulter”, As Hamm said. He defied death parents. So do they. “Why did you give birth to me? », Hamm asked his father. “I didn’t know it was you” he answered. There must be resentment between them, no doubt family affection. “I wish I could live to hear you call to me in the night in terror as you did when you were a child, and I’m your only hope,” Nag said.

All of Beckett’s art consists in this balancing of the emotional lines between cruelty and tenderness. Likewise, his sharp dialogue constantly oscillates between tragedy and comedy, as if to dissolve the surrounding darkness. But the smiles they sometimes wring out of us make our throats knot. What Beckett allows us to see is our wretched human condition, reduced to exhausted bodies, isolated minds.

ray of mercy

And yet out of this pain, through the tiny cracks, emerges a fragile ray of sympathy. Hatred aside, Clover and Hamm love each other in vacillating ways, a love that’s nourished by their habits with each other and their greater fear of dying alone. If Clover is Hamm’s valet, then he could also be Hamm’s adopted child. Beckett leaves room for doubt. Because we really don’t know if Clover’s desired departure will work out. “I’m leaving you”, In this horrific camera, he repeats like a plea.


“Endgame”, has been playing

Among the many adaptations:

Roger Brin Created for the first time game over Speaking French at the Royal Court Theater in London, 1Well April 1957. He himself plays Hamm, Jean Martin, Clov, Georges Adet, Nagg and Christine Tsingos, Nell. Soon after, the work will be re-staged in Paris.

Armand Delcampe, Belgian 1995 directed two formidable actors: Michel Boucay (Hamm) and Rufus (Clov). They were accompanied by Juliette Carré (Nell) and Marcel Cuvelier (Nagg).

great director alan françon will sign a game over Unforgettable in 2011, entrusting the role of Clover to Jean-Quentin Chatterland, the role of Hamm to Serge Merlin and the role of Nag to Michel Robin , entrusting the role of Nell to Isabel Sadoyan.

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