Heroes (Le Vent des Peupliers)
From: Thursday, 11th February 2010
To: Saturday, 20 March 2010
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Heroes is set in 1959. Gustave, Philippe and Henri are residents of a French Military Hospital. Meeting every morning on their quiet terrace, Gustave, Philippe and Henri bicker and tease each other as they reflect on their lives. Looking over the cemetery to the poplars beyond, they dream of escape. Will today be the day they finally make it to Indochina or perhaps only as far as the top of the hill?
19 February 2010
The three heroes of French playwright Gerard Sibleyras’ elegiac comedy, in Tom Stoppard’s sensitive translation, are comrades thrown together by the fortunes of war long after the event. Henri, Philippe and Gustave live in a home for old soldiers, where they’re cared for by nursing nuns and each carries scars from the World Wars in which they have fought. It’s 1959 and the scars are physical, mental – and permanent.
Somehow the trio have staked their claim to a little terrace in the former château that catches the setting sun – and affords an unsettling view of the world beyond, symbolised by a row of poplar trees (the original title is Le Vent des Peupliers, the Wind in the Poplars). And like the three musketeers, they are joined by a fourth – the stone statue of a dog, to which each relates in his own way!
Henri is the senior inmate, grounded by a gammy leg. Philippe’s war wound means he passes out without warning; and he’s anxious to stay alert, for he suspec...
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