Deux petites dames vers le Nord – Two little ladies head north
By Pierre Notte (Paris, France)
German translation from the French by Dorothea Renckhoff and Fedora Wessele
Sisters Bernadette and Annette are at the theatre watching a play by Harold Pinter set in a hospital when their 82 year-old mother dies in hospital – on the one evening when these two nice little and themselves already old ladies were not with their mother. From here an adventure begins as they have got it into their heads to bury their mother’s ashes in their father’s grave. So they take the biscuit tin with their mother’s ashes inside and leave Paris heading North.
Pierre Notte’s comedy tells the story of two elderly ladies who suddenly break out of their everyday routine and feel young and rebellious. Their search for their father’s grave turns into a moving and absurd road trip. The play is full of curiosities: the pair sing chansons in graveyards, play a game called “All the men in mother’s life” and Annette dances in a bar with a 20 year-old. Notte characterizes these two eccentric sisters as like an old married couple; unable to live with but also without each other. One moment they will be arguing and shouting at each other, the next they will be looking to the other for support and taking loving care of each other.
The sisters’ encounters on their travels are fluently told. They wallow in memories of their parents and in doing so confront their own lives. The play shows how they both deal with their mother’s death and at the same time look forward with a humorous manner through a whole series of comic situations.
Pierre Notte, born in Amiens (France) in 1969 is a director, writer, actor and lecturer. He has been writing for the theatre since 1990. His plays have been performed all over France and have won numerous prizes. In 2003 he won the Centre National des Lettres prize for an emerging dramatic writer. For “Moi aussi je suis Catherine Deneuve“ he got the Diane and Lucien Barrière Foundation’s Theatre Prize in 2005 and the “Molière” for best play in 2006. In 2006 he was also named a “New Theatre Talent” by the French Association of Authors and Composers. He runs the writing workshop of the French Society of Authors and has been General Secretary of the Comédie-Française in Paris since 2006. Pierre Notte, who lives in Paris, has been honoured as “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Ministry of Culture.
Scenic Arrangement by Katharina Thalbach
Dramaturgy Wenka von Mikulicz
Peggy Lukac and Katharina Thalbach