l'homme sans ombre Adapted from Peter Schlemihl by Adelbert von Chamisso
À Point Theatre Company, Casino, Le Locle
John Andrew Cunnington
Music: Coraline Cuenot
Lightdesign: Jérôme Bueche
What would you be ready to sacrifice to get what you desire?
The Man With No Shadow (L'Homme sans ombre) is an adaptation of the German folktale ‘The Strange Story of Peter Schlemihl’, which was written in 1813 by Adelbert von Chamisso under its original title "Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte". The text is considered one of the most beautiful texts of German Romanticism, it combines storytelling, parable and autobiography in its style. The story has been compared to "The Metamorphosis" by Kafka and tackles themes such as: one’s search for identity, marginalization, materialism, mercantilism and the pursuit of happiness.
Peter Schlemihl arrives in a world of which he knows little about, a world where social ascension appears to be granted to those with the fortune (or misfortune) to cross the path of a certain Man in Gray. Imagine Peter Schlemihl’s amazement when the Man in Gray offers him the opportunity to exchange his seemingly worthless shadow for a bottomless purse of gold...
This romantic tale full of fantastic metaphore still resonates greatly today and asks relevant existential questions. Although we live in a world governed largely by capitalism, we still have the power to make choices that impact our happiness, our surroundings and our environment.