Author: Francis Veber
Original title: Le Placard
Director: Jiří Seydler
Cast: Jaromír Nosek, Jan Vlasák, Máša Málková, Petr Motloch, Martin Kraus, Bronislav Kotiš
Premiere: 5. 3. 2016
Theater: Divadlo v Rytířské, Prague
French comedy written by Francis Veber and directed by Jiří Seydler. It is about a man who pretends to be homosexual to keep his job, with absurd and unexpected consequences.
About the author:
Francis Paul Veber is a French film director, screenwriter and producer, and playwright. He has written and directed both French and American films. Eight French-language films with which he has been involved, as either writer or director or both, have been remade as English-language Hollywood films.
Many of his French comedies feature recurring types of characters, named François Pignon (a bungler) and François Perrin (a bully).
About the play:
The only information I could find that it was staged in 2014 in Théâtre des Nouveautés. So my wind guess (as the movie with the same name was shot in 200) that the play was written later after the film. But I could not find any confirmation about it, that might support this proposition.
This play twiddles with human prejudice and hostility (and not only at working place). In the play cheap "queer" jokes and cheap "homophobe" jokes are avoided, even though attitudes about homosexuals is portrayed truly and bluntly. Through the funny dialogues is shown how easy it is to change the perception of a person and how gossips are pilling up based on "confirmed" information. And that most of the time it depends on how good a person can play his "social role". Each of the characters is a study in itself. The homophobic character (Félix Santini) emerges as intriguing and sympathetic as he comes to realization about his homosexual misapprehension.
This is not a play about being gay; that's only the gas that fuels that makes the action going. It is an observant, funny play about office politics and the way people's views of others can be distorted by labels.
I wasn't expecting the lift that the performance gave me. It has a flimsy giddiness about it, lacking in most comedies about being gay or straight or anything else. But on the other hand, it was too light. After leaving a theater, though in a good mood, I could not remember any single joke or any scene that particularly touched me.