Adrien vient « d’ailleurs ». C’est un prince aux mouvements délicats qui découvre le théâtre National de Chaillot de ses yeux éternellement émerveillés.

I fell in love with theater with the back stage . I was waiting for my turn during the end of year show by my dance school. I waited for a long time since my dance part was very short. I spent 3 hours backstage and 3 minutes. on stage ! I wasn’t disappointed, the magic of the show was here, with the light above stage flirting with the dust in the dressing room, filled with dancers hurrying to change, around the technicians pivoting the set . I saw the best show that night: to love theater  you need to be everywhere at the same time, where things are happening and where you think nothing is happening.

In the Visite, I wished for the main character “Adrien”, a young 19 years old young man with down syndrome, that he could investigate those secret places backstage : the make up station, the costume storage, the machines, the light control panel, and the sound…

Adrien comes from “somewhere else”. He’s a prince with delicately he observes the world with amazed eyes. He moves at a different rhythm than the world around him and our world. The way he walks seems to be floating, as if he was just gliding on the surface. his touch seems as light as a butterfly’s wing, his fingers stroke the objects he’s interested in as if he can scan the importants information about it that we the common mortals couldn’t see. for him smiling is so rare that its like a lil sun when he does.

And since he decided to not talk in public except within the close family and friends, the univers he carries with him is made of an unusual silence.

The people who met Adrien during his visit backstage managed to adapt to his pace and guided him in his discoveries of the “belly of Chaillot”.

The infinite curiosity of Adrien guided his exploration. He went through corridors , opened every doors , visited every last room and even the fire escape that leads to the roof, or even on top of the stage where you need to shrink not to hurt your head…

Nicole, the head of the costume department, gave to him her skeleton key that made every door a door of the imaginary he could choose for fun. Adrien is different and can see the invisible, we follow him trying to understand his secret.

The iron curtain disappears and Adrien is here, on stage , behind him the projection of a tree, loosing its flowers but the flowers go back up instead of falling on the ground. Adrien is alone in the all space, on that stage where our imagination talks to us without us knowing about it. then with a perfect timing he leaves the stage and start his visit

He will do the laundry with the costume designer, he will go inside the lodges and steal some candies and danse hip hop at the same time , then he will study with seriousness the hangar hooks with his friend Philippe who knows by heart the mechanics, Adrien will also see the sens of humour with the props master who owns a huge collection  of odd objects. And finally he’l watch the show and will end up as the main character. Adrien’s day will be a long one.

The prince from another place will be fall asleep on a forgotten chair hidden in a quiet place. Once again it’s impossible to know if he’s sleeping or meditating on the atoms that forge this universe. If he seems dopey, it you who are dopey because you think you know every thing. Thankfully Adrien is here to remind you that the visit is just a small part of what there is to see, in this place where the invisible is everything, theater is a playground in witch we can’t deny ourselves.

Alessandra Celesia