The Arts

La Voix Humaine

La Voix Humaine featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

La Voix Humaine
Toneelgroep Amsterdam
Harbourfront World Stage
Written by Jean Cocteau
Directed by Ivo van Hove
Performed by Halina Reijn
Enwave Theatre
Mar. 2 to 5, 2011

Jean Cocteau’s La Voix Humaine was first produced in Paris in 1930. Since that day, the play has been a strong lure to directors and actresses.

The reason is simple. The solo is a tour-de-force focused on a one-sided phone call of a woman who is talking to her ex-lover, and who is taking the break-up very badly. Suffice it to say, the brilliant writing on Cocteau’s part is one of carefully planned revelations.

Listeners might remember the review I did of Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s monumental Shakespeare trilogy at Montreal’s Festival TransAmériques. Well, whether a huge production or a solo show, Dutch director Ivo van Hove is beyond brilliant.

Halina Reijn performs the woman with absolute credibility. We believe this one-sided conversation. I don’t want to give away any of van Hove’s directing choices or Jan Versweyveld’s marvellous set and lighting.

Just go and see the show and you’ll know why I’m raving.

La Voix Humaine continues at the Enwave Theatre until Saturday.

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