The excellent actor Solal Bouloudnine, who plays the role of Davide Enia, the Sicilian author of the play, makes us hear a voice, or rather a song, that we will not soon forget. The story begins with a confession, which is not that of the narrator but that of a rescuer met on the island of Lampedusa, which has become infamous, and this confession does not leave you alone.

An underwater current runs through your bones. Here are a few words: “ If in front of you three people are sinking and five meters further on a mother and her child are drowning, what do you do? Who do you save first? The three in front of you or the mother and her newborn over there? (…) Where are you going ? What are you doing ? (…) Three is greater than two. Three lives is one more life. » In this vision of hell there is an aftertaste of the contemporary apocalypse which is playing out a few miles from us: all these bodies dancing, macabre, in the raging sea.

Abysses is the twilight autopsy of a drowning humanity. After the reported testimony of the rescuer who, ironically, is not really a left-wing guy but rather a fascist from a monarchist family, we enter the life of Davide (Davidou or Daviduzzo) and his father, a former taciturn cardiologist who developed a passion for photography. The son and father hardly communicate, but the drama of the migrants that plays out before them says much more about human relationships than an empty conversation.

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There is also Uncle Beppe, his father’s brother, who is suffering from cancer, but all is not lost. The director Alexandra Tobelaim, on the author’s injunction, who “strictly prohibits the use of images, videos and audio recordings which concern the contents of the text and its referents”, therefore based her work on the force of destitution – no decoration – “so that the text can be represented”. Solal Bouloudnine connects scenes of distress, but also of hope, like a series of paintings, moments brought to their climax.

Sometimes you have to take a breath to bear this testimony about these sleepwalking migrants who only live half, in search of an improbable future, shadows wandering in limbo. The actor here becomes the spokesperson for a world on the verge of collapse and describes women, children and men who no longer have much of a purpose. He contemplates them with helpless sadness.

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Remembers this young man who told him about the rape of his young cousin by six men. It was in Libya. The land, like the sea, is a cemetery. Speaking of the cemetery, here is Vicenzo, the former caretaker, who no longer knew what to do with these dead bodies washed up on his island of Lampedusa. Why not plant an oleander on the grave of this poor, nameless child? This crescendoing dramatic monologue is accompanied by the magnificent crystalline voice of musician Claire Vailler. This voice is our night light.

Abysses, at Théâtre 13 (Paris 13th), until March 9, then on tour (Toulouse, Cavaillon, Réunion, etc.).