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The count of Monte Cristo

Charles Morey

96 pages
Playscripts, Inc - 2010 - États-Unis
Pièce de thêatre

Intérêt: *

 

Comme pour sa pièce The three musketeers, Charles Morey ambitionne ici de donner une version scénique de Monte-Cristo susceptible d’être jouée par de petites troupes professionnelles ou de bons amateurs. Il adopte la même technique que dans sa version des Mousquetaires: fidélité pour l’essentiel au texte d’origine, récit morcelé en de nombreux fragments avec allers et venues constants de nombreux personnages et changements de lieux incessants.

La pièce a manifestement été écrite pour un théâtre disposant d’une sérieuse machinerie, même si Morey affirme que des astuces de mise en scène la rendent jouable très simplement.

Comme pour The three musketeers, une telle pièce ne peut vraiment être jugée que sur scène. Il n’est nullement exclu qu’une belle mise en scène en fasse un véritable succès. Mais on ne peut s’empêcher de penser qu’une évocation aussi rapide d’un aussi gros roman ne peut dans le meilleur des cas que rappeler de bons souvenirs aux spectateurs connaissant bien l’histoire d’origine; a contrario, il est douteux qu’un spectateur qui ne la connaîtrait pas du tout puisse s’y retrouver.

Le récit lui-même, on l’a dit, est grosso modo fidèle au roman, en dépit bien sûr de nombreuses et inévitables omissions et simplifications. Morey introduit toutefois un changement de taille à la fin de la pièce, en suggérant un suicide de Monte-Cristo. Il s’en explique dans sa préface, affirmant que la fin du roman (le départ de Monte-Cristo en compagnie d’Haydée) est décevante, sans doute parce que Dumas comptait écrire une suite. Morey a donc entrepris d’améliorer la chute…


Extrait de l’acte II, scènes 7 et 8

Scene 7

MONTE CRISTO. The Impartial, September 7,1838: Our correspondent at Janina writes...

FERNAND. (Reading:) "A little known fact has recently come to our attention. In the late war for Greek Independence, the castles defending Janina were surrendered to the Turk by a French Officer in whom the Vizier, Ali Tebelin had unfortunately placed his confidence. This Officer, who not only surrendered the Castle of Janina, but sold the life of his benefactor Ali Tebelin to his enemies, was called Fernand Mondego. He has since added a title of nobility and styles himself The Comte de Morcerf."

MONTE CRISTO. Submitted respectfully by your correspondent from the East, Odysseus.

(FERNAND exits. The de Villefort residence. VALENTINE and MAXIMILIAN enter. She stumbles slightly.)

MAXIMILIAN. Valentine? What's the matter?

VALENTINE. I don't know. These past few weeks... It's nothing - a summer fever. But I'm having such strange dreams. It's as if I'm awake, but can't move, while these strange figures float into and out of my vision. And, sometimes, I feel as if I'm being watched...

MAXIMILIAN. I'm going to tell your father...

VALENTINE. No. Please. He'll tell Madame. She'll be very angry, just to know we've been together. Oh my, I'm very light headed all of a sudden... I think I should sit... (She faints.)

MAXIMILIAN. Valentine! Monsieur de Villefort! Madame!

DE VILLEFORT. (Entering:) What happened?

MADAME DE VILLEFORT. What have you done?

MAXIMILIAN. Nothing. She fainted. But she was talking about these dreams...

MADAME DE VILLEFORT. Get away from her!

MAXIMILIAN. You've got to call for a doctor!

MADAME DE VILLEFORT. Take her to her room, Gerard. I'm sure it's nothing. And you, M. Morrel, can leave.

(DE VILLEFORT carries her off, MADAME DE VILLEFORT follows.)

Scene 8

(La Force Prison. MONTE CRISTO and BENEDETTO.)

BENEDETTO. I tell you I didn't steal the old crow's necklace. For God's sake why should I? I had it made with that Eugenie. I never even saw the damn thing until it fell out of my coat.

MONTE CRISTO. I know that Monsieur. I believe utterly in your innocence. But I'm afraid you were trapped by a habit every bit as ingrained as your old habit of thievery: guilt. The moment you were accused, you ran away. Instinct. Pure instinct.

BENEDETTO. If you knew I was innocent why didn't you help me?

MONTE CRISTO. Because I wanted to help you now. Monsieur, in a manner that is more useful to us both than saving your engagement to the musical prodigy of the soon to be bankrupt house of Danglars. Since you have fulfilled your bargain with me, I intend to fulfill the second half of my bargain with you.

BENEDETTO. What do you mean?

MONTE CRISTO. You are eager to learn the facts of your birth, are you not? This packet contains the truth of your heritage. Signor Benedetto Bertuccio, with all appropriate documentation and affidavits. I think you will agree it is an astounding tale. At your trial, when given the first opportunity, you will reveal it all.

BENEDETTO. And how is this useful to both you and me?

MONTE CRISTO. You will never know the former, Monsieur, the latter will be self evident once you have read this. It will amaze you, I am certain, just as I am certain it will amaze the officers of the court.


 

 

 

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