Jean-Jacques Rousseau was also a kid. This Enlightenment philosopher, who died in 1778, has been resting in the Pantheon since 1794. Presiding over the ceremony of the transfer of his remains, Cambacérès, in the name of the Convention, then evoked in front of the crowd a “profound moralist, apostle of freedom and equality, the precursor who called the nation to the roads of glory and happiness…”. He now rests near Voltaire. However, it is not this period that Marjorie Nakache has chosen to stage “ Rousseau and Jean-Jacques ” but the first twenty years of the author of the “ Social Contract ”, to quote one of his works, undoubtedly the most famous.
The actor Xavier Marcheschi signs the text based on the Confessions, published posthumously. In this play, created in 2020, seen at the Studio Théâtre de Stains (Seine-Saint-Denis) and which is starting a new tour, he is surrounded on the stage by Sandrine Furrer, Martine Palmer, and Sonja Mazouz. The scenography and puppets are by Einat Landais. Marjorie Nacache’s bias was not to create a show of figurines, but to include them to make a mirrored piece. Which allows, in other words, to discover on stage an adult Rousseau, giving the reply to his double as a young man.
“It is a question of determining from when the child breaks his puppet and becomes an adult with his free will, a social contract, which will allow him to flourish in a fulfilled society”.
Effects, successful, it must be said, make the puppets appear where you don’t expect them, and it’s often very funny. This bias means that this “ Rousseau and Jean-Jacques ” is intended for both young audiences and adults, with no age limit. The director explains: “It is a question of determining from when the child breaks his puppet and becomes an adult with his free will, a social contract, which will allow him to flourish in a fulfilled society. “.
In his youth, Rousseau, who suffered the pain of an engraver supposed to teach him the trade, lackey, or even humble secretary, discovered and then analyzed the mechanisms of exploitation and domination. This means that the bourgeoisie has never missed an opportunity to denigrate him. On the contrary, it has recently been associated with the fights led by Yellow Vests. According to the historian Henri Guillemin, “ Rousseau, in the 18th century, it was the man who said openly, about society as it is, everything that should not be said when one is well brought up and ‘we want to make a career'”. Rousseau’s words are always lively.
March 21 in Castelnau-le-Lez. 23 and 24 in Villeneuve sur Lot. March 26 in Montmorency. The 30 at Blanc Mesnil. April 6 in Brunoy. The 14 in Villiers-sur-Marne. May 30 and June 1 at the Mouffetard theater (Paris 5th) as part of the 11th biennale of puppetry arts (Biam).