Layla Metssitane will present her theatrical version of Amélie Nothomb’s bestselling novel Fear and Trembling (Grand Prize for a novel, awarded by the Académie Française in 1999), which tells the autobiographical story of young Amélie Nothomb as she embarks on a life-changing journey to Japan.
Amélie, a young Belgian woman, having spent her childhood in Japan, decides to return to live there and tries to integrate in Japanese society, determined to become a “real Japanese” before her one-year contract runs out.
Though she is hired for a choice position as a translator at an import/export firm, her inability to understand Japanese cultural norms and a series of missteps result in increasingly humiliating demotions.
The story, sometimes sadistic and often hilarious, is brought to life by Layla Metssitane’s delicate and seductive interpretation, which transposes the setting into Islam.
The satire of the unforgiving Japanese corporate world is made possible with a hint of perversity but mostly a cracking sense of humour as, alone on stage, she first appears as an enigmatic woman veiled in black, then as a geisha, the face made up in white.
Brilliantly clever and spot-on, the audience leaves the room with a sly grin and a high feeling of having been entertained.
Layla Metssitane is an actress and director of Moroccan origin. After her legal situation in France was stabilized when she was fifteen, she took part in a theatre workshop at the Centre Dramatique National of Dijon.
Later, under the direction of various theatre figures, she interpreted poetic, classical and contemporary works, such as Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Andromaque and Phèdre by Jean Racine and Le Partage de Midi by Paul Claudel.
In 2010, she created a stage adaptation of Fear and Trembling at Avignon’s off festival. This show is on an international tour since 2012 and is currently touring in Australia. The performance will be in French with projected English surtitles.
Fear and Trembling
Scott Theatre, University of Adelaide
Saturday 19 October 2013 – 7.30pm
For more information, visit: www.af.org.au for details.
Image: Layla Metssitane