8th Double Defi Mont Laurier 2017 - D'exil en exil, Nâzim Hikmet By: Ilania Abileah 



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"D'exil en exil" - 
Nâzim Hikmet
By: Ilania Abileah



8th Double Défi International Theatre Festival 2017, Mont Laurier:

Theatre Ad Hoc, Geneva, Switzerland, performed "D'exil en exil" in French, 75 minutes.   

Mon. Sept. 11, 4:30 pm


Director:  Nâzim Hikmet

Musician: Ayser Vançin

Actor Mathieu Chardet

Technician: Adrien Laneau


The duo from Switzerland appeared on stage at the gala night of the festival, on September 7th. The actor Mathieu Chardet was vocalizing a poem, and the musician Ayser Vançin played lament-like notes on her obo.  It was captivating!


"D'exil en exil" describes the life of Turkish Poet Nâzim Hikmet (1902-1963) through his poems performed by the actor/singer Mathieu Chardet, and accompanied by the musicianAyser Vançin who composed the music.   


This was a touching performance by Mathieu Chardet who sang the poems of Nâzim Hikmet, with a beautiful warm voice, telling us the poet’s life story in song, words and even a few dance steps.  The stage setting included a table with a bottle and a glass, a chair, a coat hanger, and a backdrop with family photographs, hand written notes, and letters; and last but not least... at the piano, sat Ayser Vançin.  Vançin accompanied Mathieu Chardet in harmony, on piano, obo, and at times vocalizing the poetry in Turkish which sounded musical, warm and tender.  This enabled the audience to hear the lyrical flow of Nâzim Hikmet's poetry.  Vançin’s harmonious music sounded western, yet at times I could hear the minarets ofIstanbul.  The technician Adrien Laneau did a marvelous job lighting the various spots of the stage throughout the performance.


The poet Nâzim Hikmet, spent fourteen years of his life in prison, because of his communist affiliations.  Since 1951, he lived in exile, in France, Poland, and Russia.  In 1950 he received the World Peace Prize, and in 1963 he died in Russia.   He wrote poems about the beauty of nature and life filled with hope for a better time.  The poet himself said that he often lost his freedom…yet he never lost hope. ** His work was translated into over forty languages, and he is considered to be one of the most important poets of the twentieth century.  


While taking their bows with a standing ovation, Mathieu Chardet said that on the first day they performed this show, about eight years ago, the Turkish government announced the repatriation of Nâzim Hikmet.  It was touching and symbolic!   What a theatrical delight!



** Optimistic Man 

By Nâzim Hikmet

as a child he never plucked the wings off flies
he didn't tie tin cans to cats' tails
or lock beetles in matchboxes
or stomp anthills
he grew up
and all those things were done to him
I was at his bedside when he died
he said read me a poem
about the sun and the sea
about nuclear reactors and satellites
about the greatness of humanity 

Other poems/songs we heard during the show:

En Dépit de

Celui qui s'en est allée

Au dessous de la mère

La plus drôle des créatures

Le vieillard sur la rive


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