Who: Ronald Guttman, Dr. Stephen Petrus
What: One-man show and Q&A
Where: FIAF Vimeo
When: Through Wednesday, October 28 at 11:59 pm, free
Why: On October 1, Belgian actor Ronald Guttman took the stage at FIAF’s Tinker Auditorium and performed the solo work The Fall for an in-person audience of twenty-five, in addition to many more watching the livestream from wherever they are sheltering in place. The sixty-minute piece is an English-language adaptation by Alexis Lloyd of Albert Camus’s 1956 novel La Chute, consisting of monologues by Parisian ex-pat former lawyer Jean-Baptiste Clamence, examining the meaning of the life he has lived as he hangs out in a seedy Amsterdam dive bar in the red light district. “Pleased to make your acquaintance,” Clamence says at the beginning, speaking directly to the audience before explaining a moment later, “There’s only one thing simple about me; I don’t own anything. I used to. I used to be wealthy back in Paris.” For the next hour, he shares stories about Holland, modern man, fornication, mysterious laughter, memory, and shame, describing himself as a “judge-repentant,” walking across the stage with an elegiac look, wondering what could have been. (The show is directed by Didier Flamand.) FIAF has made the stream available for free through October 28 at midnight, including a twenty-minute Q&A with the New York-based Guttman, moderated by Dr. Stephen Petrus. Guttman has been performing The Fall in different iterations for more than twenty years, so his familiarity with the existential material makes this well worth watching before it disappears forever.