Mobile phones, internet, text messages, e-mails, chats : the means of communication multiply but do we communicate any more effectively as a result ?
Six characters in search of love meet up, seduce each other, fall in love, fall out of love, argue, hate each other, split up, meet someone else and start again. False identities, true feelings, lies, sudden sincerity, manipulations, infatuations, great expectations and bitter disappointments all play their part in these chaotic and dangerous liaisons.
Telephones and computers fail to provide the connection each of the characters is looking for: a genuine link with someone else, communion with nature and the cosmos, a way to make sense of their existence.
An ironic look at “le nouveau désordre amoureux” that might make you laugh… or cry.
Robert is sitting in Ariane’s flat. Ariane is getting ready to leave.
ARIANE I’m late. You too, no ?
Daniel is writing an e-mail.
E-MAIL Your message filled me with a feeling of immense, disproportionate, unreasonable joy. I’d like to see you again. I’d like to spend some time with you. I’d like to pick up our conversation where we left off, talk about me, listen to you. I’d like to go on finding out about you. I’d like to find out about myself. I’d like you to talk about your life, your childhood, your loves, your family, your friends, your lovers. I’d like to spend hours listening to you, caressing you, kissing you. I’d like to make love to you.
ROBERT I’m fed up with always being in a hurry.
Aren’t you ?
ARIANE Aren’t I what ?
ROBERT Don’t you wish we had a bit more time together ?
ARIANE Hurry up, I’ve got to go.
She goes to the door. Her computer beeps, signalling the reception of an e-mail. Robert looks at her. She stays by the door, waiting for Robert to go out.
E-MAIL I’d like to hold you in my arms until you fall asleep. I’d like to watch you sleep. I’d like to wake in the morning to feel the touch of your lips on my sex. I’d like to run my hand lightly over your body. I’d like to go out with you. I’d like to stay in with you. I’d like to go on holiday, swim in the sea, eat in a restaurant with you. I’d like to take your hands in mine, hold you tight in my arms, keep you close to me. I’d like to uncover your body, your spirit, your soul. I’d like to fall in love with you.
Clair is getting ready to go out. Robert is drinking whisky.
ROBERT Can we try this thing for the telly ?
CLAIR What now, this evening ?
ROBERT Why not ?
CLAIR Have you finished it ? I thought it wasn’t ready.
Ariane is writing a text message.
TEXT I don’t know how to tell you.
She sighs, thinks, then erases what she has just written. She summons her concentration to start again.
ROBERT You don’t want to do it now ?
CLAIR I can’t this evening, I’ve got a dinner.
ROBERT You’ve got a dinner ?
Robert discreetly reads a text message on his phone.
TEXT I don’t know how to tell you. I think I love you…
ROBERT You don’t want to give it a try ?
CLAIR I haven’t got time. And anyway it’s better to do that sort of thing in the morning when you’re fresh rather than after a day’s work.
ROBERT You think I’m fresh in the morning ?
CLAIR Our ideas are clearer in the morning.
ROBERT You think my ideas aren’t clear in the evening ?
CLAIR I think in the evening you’re usually half pissed and you get aggressive.
ROBERT So right now you think I’m aggressive ?
CLAIR Right now it’s not my problem because I’m going out. Goodbye, Robert.
She goes to the door.
ROBERT The truth is you want me to screw up this thing for the television.
We hear Ariane’s voice, without seeing her.
ARIANE (off) He so needs to be loved. You can feel it, you can feel the need. It’s fierce. Every second you spend with him you feel accused. There’s this tacit reproach : « why don’t you love me ? »
Lights up on Ariane in bed with Daniel in her flat.
ARIANE I don’t want to belong to a man. I need to feel free. He doesn’t understand that. His head understands but not his heart. Do you understand ?
DANIEL Sounds reasonable.
ARIANE I’m sorry, I’m going on a bit. I haven’t quite got over it.
DANIEL No tacit reproach here.
Frank is getting dressed. Elly is watching him.
ELLY I’m looking for the man who’ll be the father of my children. Does that scare you ?
He looks at his phone. There is a text message.
TEXT I’ll be a bit late. Clair
FRANK Me ? I want four of them.
ELLY Four ?
FRANK Alice, George, Henry and William.
ELLY A girl and three boys ?
FRANK Preferably. Otherwise the names will sound odd.
ELLY But what if it doesn’t go as planned ?
FRANK I’ll settle for Alan, Georgina, Henrietta and Wilhelmina if need be.
ELLY Wilhelmina sounds a bit funny.
FRANK Then you’ll just have to give me a William like I asked you to. Right, that’s settled then. Any other questions ?
He is ready to leave.
Robert addresses Clair’s camera.
ROBERT We’ve known it since Darwin. Einstein confirmed it for us. Without exception every single piece of research, great or small, continues to provide us with further proof : life is not simple. It’s true at one end of the scale when we examine atoms and particles and it’s true at the other when we come to consider the immensity of the cosmos. And it’s also true at the more modest level of human life. Our interaction with others is subject to endless complexification. Our… Alright, I can see you there – I know it’s simplistic, I know it’s corny, I hate this shit, but that’s what they want, isn’t it ?
CLAIR Oh yes, absolutely. No, it’s just the choice of words that…
ROBERT What words ?
CLAIR « Interaction », « complexification ».
ROBERT What’s wrong with them ? It’s perfectly good English. « Complexification » means what it says.
CLAIR Alright, I didn’t say anything.
ROBERT What have you got against « complexification » ?
Création au Théâtre de Suresnes Jean Vilar février 2013, reprise au Vingtième Théâtre mars-avril 2013. Prix Beaumarchais du Figaro « meilleur auteur » 2013.