The Reunification of the Two Koreas, the play by Joel Pommerat, our critic

Since its creation in 2013 at the Odéon Théâtre de l’Europe, The Reunification of the Two Koreas by Joël Pommerat has been crowned with success. Here she is back for a re-creation, on the stage of the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin, from April 24 to July 14, 2024.

This is the revival of a play not to be missed, since its creation in 2013 at the Odéon Théâtre de l’Europe, The Reunification of the two Koreas of Joel Pommerat is back on the stage of the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin. The piece returns for a “recreation”, in particular by moving from a bi-frontal device (2 tiers facing each other) to a frontal relationship with the public. This spatial update is at the center of the piece and thus implies a new life of the work, its writing, the staging, the acting and the sound work. The opportunity to (re)discover the very particular work of this “show writer”. The Reunification of the Two Koreas is a creation around love, or more precisely around the complexity of the bond of love, a poetic show, both funny and painful, fair and precious.

Through a mosaic of 20 moments of love, happy or unhappy, romantic, family or friendly, Joel Pommerat wonders about this feeling, this state. “Love doesn’t exist, it’s a concept, bullshit!” as one of the characters shouts. For The Reunification of the Two Koreas, Joel Pommerat was inspired by Scenes from married lifeof Bergmanbut alsoArthur Schnitzler.

Particularly known to the general public for his magnificent re-creations of tales from our childhood, Little Red Riding Hood (2004), Pinocchio (2008) and Cinderella (2011), Joel Pommerat, creator of extraordinary shows, takes us out of our comfort zone. In just 1h50 of show, he takes us so far. Far into reflection, but also into raw emotion.

The Reunification of the Two Koreas by Joël Pommerat returns to the Nanterre-Amandiers TheaterThe Reunification of the Two Koreas by Joël Pommerat returns to the Nanterre-Amandiers Theater

Because the point of view of Joel Pommerat, always radical and poetic, remains provocative in the sense that it provokes a change in us. We come out of a show Pommerat different from what we were when we arrived. This is precisely what the director is looking for, who explains in an interview that he wants to “open up areas of different perceptions of everyday life” and “make us see what is familiar differently”.

Are you ready to question your vision of love, and to experience a suspended moment around the rediscovery of this work? See you at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin, from April 24 to July 14, 2024.

Our review:

A magnificent text, enhanced by talented actors! Joel PommeratIn The Reunification of the two Koreas, talk to us of love in all its forms. Prepare to be sometimes moved, sometimes disturbed by the dialogues, sometimes horrified and sometimes upset, because the author confronts us with feelings that we feel every day. The dialogues are sublimated, in addition to the talent of the actors, by a staging that is both sober and technical.

The Reunification of the Two Koreas takes place in a scene, having no links between them, and the spectator is plunged into complete darkness between each one. An interesting play of perspective is also worth highlighting, the audience sometimes having the impression that the actors are very far away on stage. The dark staging of Joel Pommerat, is accompanied by smoke during certain scenes, adding a dramatic side and sometimes loud music. A piece not necessarily recommended for younger people, who may not like or understand the different messages conveyed in the piece.

This play could be compared to a dark and hopeless play and yet, we do not leave the play saddened. Joel Pommerat rightly faces the harsh realities of life, without being afraid to expose them to the eyes of the spectators. The actors play with rare power and take us with them into their joys, their anxieties, their fears and their madness! In The Reunification of the two Koreas, the playwright always expresses a duality, by giving a reason to neither side, we witness quarrels and we no longer know who to side with. It’s impressive to see how much we change our minds throughout the different scenes, and how we no longer know who to believe.

A touching portrait of the human being and a vision of love that is complex and so real, delivered by Joel Pommerat.

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