The audience was rolling with laughter, enjoying every bit of Evam’s play, Art
Put three men and a white painting on stage, add a dash of property, a generous amount of an award-winning script, a few sprigs of raw talent with a hint of music and stir with the hand of a master. Art by Evam at Alliance Francaise was the perfect Friday evening cuppa and the audience rolling with laughter, drinking it all in, would not disagree.
Evam, the theatre group has been playing Art, the Moliere Award winning play by Yasmina Reza for 10 years now and one would think they’d know their craft. And they do! The stage props comprised three cardboard boxes and was minimalistic. With no backstage crew, the actors deserve a pat on the back for such smooth scene transitions, setting the stage themselves. The lighting was spot on and added that touch of professional brilliance that was the cherry on the cake. And that, more than anything else made the play seem much bigger than the small setting it was constrained to, which is highly commendable.
The three standing men, the heart and soul of the show slipped so beautifully into the characters they donned, completely in sync with each other which must come from relentless rehearsal and a comfort in relationship, beyond the stage. Marc was eloquent, and so theatrical in movement and speech that every dialogue was a performance in itself befitting his character; Serge whose ridiculously expensive painting of nothingness sows the seed of trouble, plays his character with subtlety remaining placid throughout. At times it seems he’s underplaying the role. And Yvan? Oh he was the art on stage! A character played so effortlessly without ever missing a beat, Yvan breathed life into the play. Being purely conversational, there is always the danger of losing the audience during a play, but that didn’t happen and Yvan’s character must receive a generous portion of credit for that, not just for the role in itself but for the way it was enacted.
To keep a play running for ten years with the same actors enacting the roles could result in two things: monotony setting in, or getting better with each passing year -- Evam seems to fall in the latter category. The script itself needs no recommendation, being an award-winning play with a simple story that raises several pertinent questions. Having hit the perfect concoction for an obvious success, ‘Art’ by Evam was an absolute delight.