The Mole

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The Mole ? sure ? yes yes, yes. That’s exactly what you think that I’ m talking about, yes mister, madam, yes – perfectly.

So The Mole – all right, if you prefer : Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Okay – The Mole is my title – well, the French title. But I know you understood that.
And then, the theme is to confuse the issue and the understanding: the translators’ ideas are a very funny way to confuse the issue and the understanding when you get into spy stories.

And that’s it, perfectly, I the Frenchwoman with my translations of your books, I will find it absolutely brilliant to create The Mole – with this title – on a stage.

And so and so? I shouldn’t talk about it? it’s so cult and perfect, then putting my nose: forbidden?
You let me tell you without flinching that we are going to put on stage the Iliad and the Odyssey, and for John Le Carré, I shouldn’t ?

Tsss, is my answer.

I admit that the story is a bit long.
Still not as long as the Iliad.
I grant you that sometimes, it is a little complicated.
But then just : a little bit – and then a novel is complicated because you need time to visualize the characters who seem secondary.
It becomes quite possible to get lost between them.
This problem disappears the second you have actors in front of you.

Okay, that’s not the only problem.
Of course, it’s a spy novel.
And one of John Le Carré’s most famous.
Obviously it’s complicated – if you find the solution on page 30, what’s the point of reading the rest?

And then, it’s a detail, but still, the Russian spy is not called Natasha, but Irina. And that changes everything.

You probably know this story, so I’m not going to tell you – but what a great premise! And what a lot of twists and turns and tricks and lies to find out who this famous mole is.
An old-fashioned mole, a welcome return to the great moments of the Cold War, to the golden age of spy stories

It’s definitely a story to have in the back of your mind when you want to appeal to an audience that doesn’t like theatre because it’s old and boring.

Of course, creating The Mole on stage requires a director who puts out his guts – it’s not an easy bet – not at all – precisely because there are all the constraints of the stage, associated with the constraints – it’s true quite heavy – of the story.
Failed, it is a catastrophe.
But successful?

Shall we try the intermission to see how the audience reacts?
The one placed just at the right moment, the one where no spectator can tolerate an interruption.
But yes yes yes – break of the contract, we are in a theatre, the game of immersion is a game, each one its rules.
They will be disgusted –
And come back particularly impatient to resume the thread of the story.

And then, can you imagine the complete pleasure for an actor to play Smiley? And all the others? And I don’t mean to make a big deal out of it, let alone sing you the great tune of tralala, but actors who take complete pleasure in playing, of course, immediately results in spectators who take complete pleasure in watching.

Do you think it’s better suited with film?
It’s true in a way – cinema makes all the places – plays with all the stuff – and can cheat with what you understand like crazy without anyone realizing it until the end.

That’s why I can only imagine this on stage directed by a director who really has power. The advantage of the stage is the reality. It’s all the dimensions of the room that you can use. Especially if this room is also a big room dedicated to cheating – well, cheating – let’s say with all the technical means possible to make the spectators hallucinate and totally blur their understanding.
If we manage to invent a theatre that can do this, why should we deprive ourselves of the pleasure of staging stories as great as this one?

So be it – it’s not Shakespeare – but it’s a monument.
I like monuments, as far as I’m concerned.
And it would be monumental to present it on the Altair stage, which will definitely become a stage unlike any other. Almost, but not quite.

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Featured Image : Alec Guinness as George Smiley, the John Le Carré’s super spy – 1982

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