Taking care of an angel
Veiller sur un Ange is a dramatic comedy I was asked to write in 2010 for the national day of Drown syndrome organized by Association Trisomie 21 in Montreuil, with the help of Sylvia Gaymard - former president of the association and mother of one of the actors.
It’s a creation for 8 actors, three of them suffering from Drown syndrome, with Justine Assaf, Wohan Azzam, Romain Borghi, Amélie Charberet, Yohan Guion, Antoine Hirel, Dalil Liabes, and Sébastien Ventura. I was also assisted by Eloïse Genêt. This play talks about Drown syndrome. Although the tone of the story is quite light and humorous, it attends to show and reveal the relationship problems, which can be encountered by people suffering from trisomy 21, their family and people they meet for the first time.
Augustin, a young prosaic business man who loves to complain about his life, is preparing dinner at home for three of his best friends when suddenly show up Valérie, his mother, and Dominique, his brother-sister – the role has been split for 2 boys and 1 girl suffering from trisomy 21. He seems not so happily surprised and quite stressed out by their arrival. But why? Because he never told his friends about his trisomic brother-sister, because he wanted to talk with them about his quite recent break-up or maybe because he lost all his money gambling, is ruined and spending his last night home before expulsion…
Each character of the play – the 3 friends: Harry, businessman, Stéphane, famous writer and Kevinski, struggling actor and director; Valérie, Augustin’s attractive mother and Augustin – is looking for the same thing, recognition. And the presence of the trisomic brother-sister will create a disturbing feeling and cast doubts in their mind. I wanted to deplore the clichés existing on people suffering from Drown syndrome but without putting any kind of judgment on anybody. Things are not easy and the play turns into a settling of scores between all of the characters when each is put on trial by the others until they finally admit they love each other.
I wanted to talk about differences. By their choices, their convictions, their looks, their experiences, whether one’s attempted by Drown syndrome or not, people are just different to one another. Accepting somebody as he is, even though he’s not what we think or what we would like him to be, is to me a path to soul’s elevation. It’s an essential point of my life and convictions and I try to develop this belief.
* Translation by Justine Assaf.
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Extract of the play
Documentary on the rehearsals,
featuring François Rollin