Macha Grenon: in the shadow of the theater

She has had several foot calls to play at the theater, but most of the time she has gently declined. It is finally the director Louis-Karl Tremblay who had the happy foot, convincing Macha Grenon to go back on stage to defend the character of Eurydice in a reading of the myth of Orphée signed Elfriede Jelinek.

His baptism of fire took place in 1996 in the comedy Five Girls with the same dress, directed by Andre Brassard. A happy experience, tells us Macha Grenon, which was even followed by a tour.

“It went well,” she recalls. Starting with Andre, it was a great experience, and I had great proposals after, but I think that the mixture of my own insecurities, mixed with the notoriety that I had, made that I declined them. ”

Despite the success she had early on TV (Lance et compte, Scoop, Juliette Pomerleau) and later at the movies (Familia, Barney’s Version, The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom), Macha Grenon struggled with to enter the theatrical arena.

“My insecurities, the fact that I did not go to school and be known, weighed in when I went on stage. There were a lot of expectations, I think it slowed me down. And then, it’s true that I was involved in several projects on TV and cinema … ”

Over the years, she has maintained a discreet link with the scene. With the Comedic humaine, for example, she did dramatic reading (Les rendez-vous amoureux), then a second play, in 2006, Amadeus (with Andre Robitaille and Gilles Pelletier).

It has taken more than 12 years for the now blonde actress (who can be seen in the series The Honorable since January) back on stage.

When the director Louis-Karl Tremblay ( The Atrides ) read the text of Elfriede Jelinek, he spontaneously thought of Macha Grenon. “I was looking for an actress to contrast with Jelinek’s tongue, which is very hard and black. I needed a dose of brightness that Macha has. I had seen her in New Address interpret this character who dies of cancer with extraordinary brightness. ”

Macha Grenon admits that his first reading of Jelinek’s text ( The Pianist , Drama of Princesses ) destabilized him.

“I felt like I was listening to a trash metal record,” she says. There is an incredible load and intensity. It had to be tamed. It is not an encounter that is organic. It is about a woman’s word that can exist only through violence. It made me think of the Victorian Austrians, like Mary Shelley, who were published anonymously. ”

The myth of Orpheus

The myth features Orpheus, a poet and musician, who falls in love with Eurydice. On their wedding day, she is bitten by a snake and dies.

Inconsolable, Orpheus goes to the kingdom of hell where he convinces the god Hades to revive his beloved. A contract made on one condition: that they leave, before him, behind her, and that he does not turn to look at her until they have returned to the world of the living. But impatient (or worried), Orpheus turns around. And lose Eurydice forever.

The end of the myth can be interpreted in many ways, notes Macha Grenon. “Why is he turning around? Because he’s in love? Or because he needs to see himself in his eyes? That’s what Jelinek is exploring, “she tells us. In this rereading of the myth, Eurydice is an author who can not live on her art and lives in the shadow of Orpheus, a true rock star.

“The myth of Orpheus is revisited especially in its relational aspect, says Macha Grenon. Can Eurydice follow her creative impulse while supporting Orpheus in her rock star light that also includes the report to her fans? How can it exist in front of a pack of groupies? She gets lost in the image, in fashion and clothes to attract attention … ”

Louis-Karl Tremblay has entrusted Orphée to the musician Pierre Kwenders, while Stéphanie Cardi, Macha Grenon and the dancer Louise Beard will all play the role of Eurydice.

“The exploration of the movement deals with the subject of the relationship to the body, to the image, and these speak as much as words. We stretch to be conduits. It’s a demanding but inspiring exercise, “says Macha Grenon.

Are there links to be made between this luminous Orpheus and Macha Grenon? “I asked myself a lot about celebrity. It is certain that younger, it is something that nourished me. It feeds the ego, but admiration must not be confused with the real value of the creative process. Today, at age 50, my happiness is to create with others. It’s the creative relationship that interests me. ”

Did Macha Grenon take a liking to this new dip in the world of theater? “Yes, I take a liking to it,” replies the actress. It’s crazy as it takes energy, but it feeds at the same time. Over time, I think it’s up to me to assume how I want to live it. The theater is something that I am happy to live in a collective process and that I still approach with great humility. When I’m in this area, I’m fine. ”