“I don’t want to play the role of the mouse caught in the trap of a cruel cat,” warns the beautiful Hélène (Aurore Frémont, sexy) who says she is indifferent to her imminent death. Long blond hair, dignified, perched on golden heels matched with a transparent coat which reveals her curves, the wife of Menelaus (Brontis Jodorowsky) is at her lowest. Troy fell because of her. Her ex-husband, the king of Sparta, can triumph and “take” her if he wishes. He only has one word to say. He receives her in the room of her lover, Paris, whom he has just killed. Beneath her bravado, Hélène does not lead the way, but Menelaus has other intentions.

Moreover, on the plateau of the Athénée-Louis-Jouvet framed by mirrors and gilded walls, the monarch does not look good. Under his glittering jacket, he hides a wound in his stomach and heart. Young and carefree, he and Hélène once loved each other. Passionately. The end of the war leaves them traumatized, as if borrowed from themselves.

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Cornered, face to face, they seek some semblance of truth. The masks fall, they test themselves, judge themselves and calculate their room for maneuver over others. It is limited, blood has been shed, revenge must be accomplished. Hate is proportional to past love. “ Play! », orders Menelaus to the prodigious singer and pianist Macha Gharibian, crowned Victory of Jazz Revelation in 2020.

After Ménélas Rebétiko Rapsodie, in 2012, Simon Abkarian reinterprets Hélène after the fall in a current version of the myth of the Atrides (Actes Sud-Papiers). “This tragedy takes place at the fateful moment when time stops and the characters who are supposed to belong to each other no longer know how to recognize each other. They no longer know how to believe in either the return or the resurrection of the other,” writes the actor-playwright, from the Théâtre du Soleil. The writing is precise, lyrical, carnal.

Ideal for the duel between Helen and Menelaus, the prisoner and the “monster incapable of joy”. Aurore Frémont and Brontis Jodorowsky are not helped by the scenography. Silent, like an ancient choir, a man and a woman dressed in black move an imposing wooden sofa on which Helen and Menelaus sit, climb, listen to each other and could gut each other.

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These interventions are not necessary. The actors carry this show on strong shoulders. Aurore Frémont had masterfully embodied, already under the direction of Simon Abkarian, Electre des bas-fonds (three Molières, two prizes from the Critics’ Union and one from the SACD, in 2019). Noticed in The Last Duel, by Ridley Scott, Brontis Jodorowsky imposes his fine figure and his royal will, without forcing.

Hélène after the fall, at the Théâtre de l’Athénée Louis Jouvet (Paris 9th), until November 25. Such. : 01 53 05 19 19. Then on tour, from December 19 to 22 at La Criée, in Marseille (06).