Yesterday, I saw my first French theatre performance at the Université de Nantes Theatre (TU). It was called Zig et More. I had read an introduction to the play and it sounded interesting. I had wanted to see a theatre production at the university for a while now so it made sense to go.
The theatre was small and further research revealed that the play and the playwright aren’t very well-known. But that doesn’t mean anything. The writing was beautiful and the acting was spot on. I didn’t particularly like some lighting choices nor the idea of having two musicians on the stage at the same time as the actors, but the other technical choices I found to be appropriate.
Here’s the premise of the story. In a post-apocalyptic world, there are two tribes left. They are warring with each other. One day, a boy, eight years old, from one tribe steps on a landmine. That same day, a man from the other tribe is told to stand post at this region. The man stands at his post for duty. The boy stands on the mine, unable to move, for the sake of his life. At first, the man views the boy as a statistic. He doesn’t want to know his name, but the boy gives it to him. Zig. Zig asks the man for his name. He doesn’t give it to him. The day goes on, then another. The man takes pity on the boy and gives him an apple. The boy still doesn’t move. For fifteen days. How is it possible for a boy to stay that long on a mine without moving? Without sleeping?
Months pass. Years. Five years. Fifteen years. Zig, to the man’s knowledge, hasn’t moved…and they haven’t heard anyone in years. They hypothesize on what may have happened. Maybe the war is over, maybe the world stopped spinning. Regardless, the man will not leave his post because he is a solider and a solider always obeys his orders. But, throughout the years, the two become friends. A connection is made that suggests that humanity is greater than war, greater than difference.
But how could Zig have stayed on the mine for so long? The hour and a half mystery is revealed in the last few minutes of the play. I won’t spoil it for you, in case you ever watch it. But the play ends in an action packed last few minutes that leave you asking, what just happened? Nothing was as it seemed in the beginning. As your questions are answered, you are left with some other questions about the changes that man can bring about. I was impressed with the writing of the play. It was philosophical, but funny at the right moments. It was dark when it needed to be and it was easy to fall into this post-apocalyptic world.
This morning, I intended to go for a walk along the river and have a picnic with Kacy. But it was raining, as usual in Nantes (even though the weather forecast said it was a zero percent chance of precipitation). So, we had our picnic inside. In the afternoon, the rain let up a little. It was freezing cold, but it wasn’t down pouring so we decided to go ahead with our plans. We took a ferry from Nantes to Trentemoult, which is an ancient fishing village on the Loire River. With my monthly TAN pass, I can travel on the ferry for free. It’s only a six minute ferry ride, so it made for a nice little trip.
Trentemoult reminds me of the old fishing village I visited in Italy. Both had houses that were painted many different colors and both were pretty small. Kacy and I walked through Trentemoult in about an hour. There wasn’t much to see there, but it was pretty. I’m sure it would be even prettier in the summer, when it is warm. We also saw a strange sight…a pendulum on an abandoned piece of equipment. I came home and looked it up. If you’re interested in the meaning behind this strange sight, check this website out:
We took the ferry back to Nantes and I’ve been trying to work on homework and study for my first literature test, but…there was a fire alarm (again). I notice that the fire doors close about ten minutes before the alarms go off. I heard them close and I was thinking, Oh please. No. I don’t want to have to leave my room. Uhhh…But the alarm went off and I walked down the stairs and into the lobby. As I walked on to the first floor, I smelled something that could best be described as industrial glue and burnt plastic. It was coming from the vents.
The alarm shut off and, as I walked back to my room, a guy with a British accent turned to me. “Have you smelled the vents and heard them? It’s been like this for a few hours,” he said in English.
“It’s a little worrisome. Well, goodnight,” he said.
Gee, thanks for making me paranoid now. I hope that they fix the problem because it smells awful! I can’t even imagine what that smell is!