far° Nyon, programme Extra time, August 2015
Performing: Andrea Marioni & Jan Jullierat
La guerre des mondes is a theater piece inspired by the War of Worlds written by H.G. Wells and radio adaptation of H.G Welles. It tries to figure out if such a war could be scientifically possible and what relation human beings have with extraterrestrial life.
The plot turns around the meaning of being Human in the universe and the singularity of such a kind of phenomena: there is only one species of human being. A recurrent question in the background of the play is to explore the need of humans to research another form of intelligence similar of the human one. A second main topic is the fear of assimilation from alien life and the loss of human capability.
The play moves freely on different levels as much taking inspiration from astrophysicists theory of human and universe, psychological theory and games between aliens meant as extraterrestrial life and being alienated as a human among others.
The acting play is directly inspired by Andy Kaufmann’s stage presence to underline the wish of being on stage as alienated people trying to questioning their human reality, as an intelligence form in universe, as a species in the heart, as part of a community and as an individual.
A running gag is made with the name of the performer « Andrea Marioni » which became little by little a sort of song or a concept that twisted from a situation to another and invert the position of the audience with the performer, also both actors on stage present themselves as « Andrea Marioni » to end in the situation that everybody is « Andrea Marioni » and that in fact « Andrea Marioni » is an alien form of life try to assimilate the audience.
Games with quantum theory are frequent to change times and the « form » of actors whom are sometime not anymore their character change ways of playing. The presence of actors is so going from a sort of recurrent Andy Kaufmann-like presenting as Andrea Marioni asking himself naively what it means to be human, to get than into a more TV-like presentation of universe theory, psychiatrist interview, musical for children and army training.
Another theory evoked explores the difficulties of humans in sci-fi movies like Kubrick’s 2001 a Space Odyssey or Tarkovski’s Solaris to keep a psychological balance going far from the earth and how humans could potentially deal with the exit of his natural planet.
Scenes of the piece are constantly playing with notion of huge (the universe) and microscopical (the brain) and the effects in our psychological perception of such dimensions.
A speculative answer is also given taking inspiration from a science anecdote around the word « Quark » which was according to Stephen Hawking the first scientific term not inspired by latin but taken from James Joyce’s novel: Finnegans Wake. So the theory announced by the character of the play is that the only way to explore the universe is to combine poets and astronauts in space missions, because poets could create news words to overtake human limits of perception and that poetry is the closest way of expression with quantic rules.
The play was also broadcasted live on radio and a part the possibility to open the stage into an abstract dimension this situation was also used in the play to announce that one of the singularity of our planet is sound and that human beings try to communicate into the space by radio wave to find other form of life.
Below are a few pictures and one archive of the radio broadcast.