City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Camille Claudel Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 15 August 2012

Camille Gael
Show details
Footprint Project
Running time: 
Gaël Le Cornec (writer and director), Sophie Mosberger (designer), Tanja Pagnuco (dramaturg), Renato Rocha (movement coach), Sherry Coenen (lighting designer)
Gaël Le Cornec

The multi coloured geometric shaped external space of Pleasance Beside, designed by Simon Scullion, is the venue for this one woman show written and performed by French-Brazilian actress and writer, Gaël Le Cornec.

Looking as though she has just stepped out of 19th century Paris, Le Cornec sits centre stage her supplicating hands outstretched on the skirt of her white cotton chemise as the strains of a chanteuse in the background further set the tone for this tragedy.  

Through elegant poses, dance and an engagingly funny script that is full of poetic language, Le Cornec unfolds the forgotten story of Camille Claudel, a student and lover of Auguste Rodin and a fine sculptor in her own right, but like many women artists has been overshadowed by her male contemporaries.

This is a brave and beautiful wee theatrical gem that is full of sensuality and vulnerability as it exposes the injustice of the downward spiral of this talented woman, who sees the world through her hands.

Her depiction of how Claudel deals with the results of more than a kiss from Rodin is exquisitely performed. Le Cornec’s slight frame contains enormous physicality as she expresses Claudel’s vie sans rose; her fear of being forgotten. Her fine surprise homage to the can –can is a pleasure, showing off the red motif of ribbon and bloomers.  Le Cornec can step out of character to share un p’tit verre with an audience member or disabuse any stereotypical notions of the French some of the audience may have.

This journey from atelier to asylum where maquettes are made with the cloth of her dress and lost letters confetti the air, takes us to a gorgeous last waltz before she ends up like a beautiful broken doll.

Camille Claudel was developed at the Barbican Theatre and its Fringe appearance will be followed by an international tour including stops at Brazil’s Festival Internacional de Curitiba, the LA International Women’s Theatre Festival and France’s Avignon Festival.

Varvara Tyunina is credited the show’s on programme for the image there but I cannot assume that the credit applies to the show’s other images.  

Show times

1-27 Aug (no show Tuesdays), 1.30pm