The Dead Poets Society Revived at Théâtre Antoine

The Dead Poets Society at theatre Antoine

© Louis Josse Jean Marc Dumontet production

We had our reservations (quite daring to bring a cult film to the stage)... and yet! Energetic actors, laughter, and tears ultimately convinced us of this adaptation of The Dead Poets Society, directed by Olivier Solivérès at Théâtre Antoine. Here's the rundown.


A sublime story of transmission

Adapted from Peter Weir's film, the play successfully captures the ingredients that made The Dead Poets Society a huge success. Quick reminder: in 1950s Vermont, USA, Welton Academy, a boys' boarding school, is renowned for both its academic excellence and its austerity and puritanism. The arrival of a new literature professor, John Keating, and his non-conformist methods change the game for the students, teaching them to think for themselves.

Even though the story is now 35 years old (ouch), it still moves us. This professor, whom we would dream of having, helps these teenagers find themselves when they need encouragement the most. A true story of transmission as John Keating shares his passion with the younger ones who understand the importance of being passionate and "seizing the day" according to Horace's doctrine. Whether you've seen the film or not, you rediscover the characters like old friends, just like Maurice Jarre's music and the iconic dialogues delivered by the actors that make you want to join them in their cry for life. Carpe diem!


Enter the poets

Stephane Freiss in The Dead Poets Society Revived

Tough act to follow the immense Robin Williams in the role of John Keating, but Stéphane Freiss fits into the role effortlessly. The former member of the Comédie-Française succeeds in making us feel beautiful emotions and reminisce about our high school years. However, the standout performances in the play come from the six actors who complete the cast. Mostly beginners, they are astonishing and full of energy: we laugh, shiver, and cry with them.

The group of friends includes, of course, the bad boy - and heartthrob - Charlie Dalton (Audran Cattin), the brainy and selfish Gary Cameron (Maxence Seva), the clown Steven Meeks (Pierre Delage), the lovestruck Richard Overstreet (Maxime Huriguen), the artist Neil Perry who struggles to break free from his father's authority (Ethan Oliel), and the excessively shy Todd Anderson who has just joined the group (Hélie Thonnat). Like true friends, they are accomplices, reveal themselves, and have fun together, making us desperately want to join them in the dead poets society. They even have fun doing so before the curtain rises: while Maxime Huriguen sings, his peers invite the audience to dance a few steps of rock with them to warm up the room. A moment we won't soon forget!

The Dead Poets Society runs until March 31 at Théâtre Antoine, 14 Boulevard de Strasbourg, Paris 10th.


And also...

Oublie-moi at the Antoine Theatre

She didn't go unnoticed during its debut at the Avignon OFF in 2022 and its subsequent run at Théâtre du Petit Saint-Martin before winning 4 Molière awards, including Best Private Theatre Play. If you haven't had the chance to witness Marie-Julie Baup and Thierry Lopez (each adorned with a statuette for their truly remarkable performance) in "Oublie moi," book your seat at Théâtre Actuel - La Bruyère now to experience a rollercoaster of emotions, from intense joy to tears with the snap of a finger.


Love Tested by Illness

Nothing foretold the emotional impact of what seemed to be a sweet romantic tale. Once upon a time, there were Jeanne and Arthur. They hadn't met yet but frequented the same nightclub. To start a conversation, he accidentally spilled his drink on her. A foolproof technique, especially when dancing to a worldwide hit like "Words" by F.R. David. A soundtrack that would become "their song"... because, yes, it was love at first sight. They fall for each other and move in together—they are young, beautiful, witty, and joyful. Cue the violins? Not quite, for beneath the facade of a typical love story lies a mystery: the cognitive degeneration commonly known as Alzheimer's disease.

An ode to crazy love, this play adapted from "In the Other World" by British playwright Matthew Seager and portrayed by a passionate and authentic duo of actors, first shows us life through rose-tinted glasses before bringing tears to our eyes. Set in impeccable stage design and immersive lighting, the lovebirds charm us with their whimsy and squabbles. Until the day a hiccup disrupts the love story.

The first hint of this relationship's turning point lies in a forgotten shopping list: at the grocery store, Arthur can't recall the item he came to buy. Through flashbacks and the present, like a treasure hunt, the audience tries to unravel the mystery of this enchanting couple. The pink veneer chips away as the young man's memory fades, his recollections escape, and words are forgotten. The musical choice becomes clearer when you listen to the refrain: "Words don’t come easy to me / How can I find a way to make you see I love you."Both funny and tragic, this play makes us swoon unexpectedly. Ready for the emotional rollercoaster ? You won't regret it!

Oublie moi. Tuesday to Friday at 7:00 PM and Saturday at 6:30 PM. Prices : €34 to €49, €12 for those under 26.

Discover also the 5 shows to book as soon as possible and the 3 compelling reasons to watch the new series about Christian Dior.

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Where to find it?

Théâtre Antoine

14, boulevard de Strasbourg

75010 Paris

01 42 08 77 71

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