Under the frames of the Russia-France Year 2010
with support of the Russian Federation Ministry of Culture
The Chekhov International Theater Festival
"Written in 1778, the play was first released and later banned; after its success in salons and home theaters, it was let go again and first performed on the stage of the Comédie Français with unbelievable flock present in 1784 (…); “The Marriage of Figaro,” also known as “The Day of Madness,” occupies a special place in the French unconscious. This play, the most French of all French plays, as nothing else pays tribute to the quickwittedness and nonconformist spirit of the Great Nation. Then is there any sense in spending time watching another direction of the most well-known play, let even performed by the Comédie Français’s actors? The answers is: absolutely, if you wish to be a witness of unification of the theater with festivity, intellect with light-minded joy, and all this in the genial Christophe Rauck’s “orchestration;” the Director has shown himself a mature master with his first direction at the Comédie Français. (...) The decorations are limited with boards and blankets with images of the door, the bed, and fragments of paintings (“The Battle of San Romano” by Paolo Uccello); in the last, the most magical, act, there appear wooden horses and stuffed deers… The text speaks with a new force on this half-empty stage, as if it is getting rid of all memories connected with it; in the result of this, it turns out to be surprisingly modern.”
Didie Merez ("La Croix", October 2, 2007)
"Christophe Rauck, who owes a lot to the Theatre du Soleil and has never disguised this, rejects any historical authenticity. His Figaro and Susanna would have been quite ordinary in the streets of the present Paris, while the Count looks a lot more like a character of the nineteenth century gentry, and the Countess, with her lush delicacy, remains in the eighteenth century. As far as the space is concerned, it is absolutely virtual: as if magically, some details and symbols emerge here and there every now and then, but we do not see any specific premises, like a bedroom or a sitting room, on the stage. Up until now, such free attitude was typical in regards of Labiche, but not Beaumarchais. But our Director manages this brilliantly, for he knows how to reveal the internal struggle of the characters and their strive to exist in this unfair and weird world with the force of images and actors’ playing, with the help of comic lines and tricks.
Gilles Costage ("Les échos", October 1, 2007)
"There is no single actor not in the right place. Their play is built up on the harmony and contrasts; the same could be said about decorations and costumes, which unobtrusively send us back to Jean Renoir’s “The Rules of the Game” (...) Christophe Rauck, whose works have always been of great interest for us, proves with this direction that he is a master of changing registers. There is everything here: a comedy, a choir, a vaudeville, tirades and monologues, and direct appealing to public... Rauck accelerates the rhythm smoothly, and then slows the movement down, and sometimes even entwines some moments of silence into the action. He manages the actors brilliantly, while obviously leaving them enough of freedom, which is especially well seen in the case of Susanna and Figaro, the two surprising beings with inhuman temperament.
(“Le Figaro,” September 27, 2007).