"You shouldn’t be like me”. And there you have it, the watchword. The father’s real watchword.
Beyond Nabil’s particular case, the child of immigrants, starting at the bottom of the social ladder, Une étoile pour Noël raises the question of individuality in the face of a society that does not recognize it, the ferocity of a world full of panicked adults, intent on setting boundaries on the fierce outbursts of childhood, and in a more intimate way, questions the strange struggle between the innate part and the part shaped by the desire of others when building an identity. "You shouldn’t be like me," in other words: to be better than what was written, what was established. In any words, especially for Nabil, not being what he is. Be what others want instead: his father, his teacher, his friend Jean-Luc’s grandmother Genevieve... Simultaneous desires whose sole (unacknowledged) purpose is, in fact, to remove Nabil from his origins. What Nabil senses and scrupulously tries to respect. Because what he really is does not seem to be a good thing, because he is therefore apparently unusual, the only thing he can do is attain an out-of-the-ordinary position.
Author and actor Nasser Djemaï | Playwriting and staging Natacha Diet | Artistic collaboration Marie Sohna Condé | Music Frédéric Minière | Lighting design Renaud Lagier, Paul Catenacci (creation 2005)
Production : Cie Nasser Djemaï | Co-production (2015) : MC2: Grenoble | Coproduction (2005) : Arcadi, Maison des Métallos | With the support of (2005) : La Filature / Scène nationale de Mulhouse, la compagnie RL | With the encouragement of writing the Ministry of Culture and Communication (2005) | The text, Une étoile pour Noël ou l’ignominie de la bonté is published by Actes Sud-Papiers.
The Nasser Djemaï troupe has been commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and Communication - D.R.A.C. Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and subsidised by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, the Departmental Council of Isère and the City of Grenoble.
Creation on January 2005 at Maison des métallos in Paris
Show from 2005 to 2012
4 countries, over 500 shows including
Les Francophonies, Limoges • Théâtre 140, Bruxelles • Festival de Théâtre du Val d’Oise • La Filature, Scène nationale de Mulhouse • Forum Meyrin (Suisse) • La Manufacture, Centre Dramatique National de Nancy • Théâtre municipal d’Evian • Auditorium de Seynod • LARC, Scène nationale du Creusot • Théâtre d’Ermont • L’Hexagone, Scène nationale de Meylan • Théâtre de Thouars • La Coupe d’Or, Rochefort • Théâtre Edwige Feuillère, Vesoul • Espace Chambon, Cusset • Théâtre municipal, Le Puy en Velay • Théâtre municipal, Aurillac • Le Manège, Scène nationale de Maubeuge • Scène nationale d’Alençon-Flers • Amphithéâtre de Pont de Claix • Scène nationale de l’Agora, Evry • Centre culturel René Char, Digne • Théâtre des 7 collines, Tulle • Les Amis du Théâtre Populaire, Biarritz • Le Sémaphore, Cébazat • Le Carré des Jalles, St-Médard-en-Jalles • Théâtre de Draguignan • Théâtre National de Nice Côte d’Azur • Rencontres Charles Dullin, Fresnes • Centre Jacques Prévert, Nice • Théâtre du passage, Neuchâtel • Scène nationale, Dieppe • Scène nationale, Poitiers • Théâtre de Taverny • Théâtre 71, Scène nationale de Malakoff • Salle Maurice Baquet, Talange • Théâtre municipal, Douai • Théâtre du Chien qui fume, Avignon • Le Théâtre, Auxerre • Le Lucernaire, Paris • Le Strapontin, Pont Scorff • Côté Jardin, Saint-Dié-des-Vosges • Le Kiosque, Mayenne • Théâtre municipal de Roanne • La Teste de Buch • Théâtre Denis, Hyères • Théâtre Gyptis, Marseille • L’Apostrophe, Scène nationale de Cergy • La Ferme de Bel Ébat, Guyancourt • Le Fanal Scène nationale, Saint-Nazaire • Domaine d’Ô, Montpellier • La Rampe, Echirolles • Le grand R, Scène nationale La Roche-sur-Yon • Le Volcan, Scène nationale du Havre • Le Bateau Feu Scène nationale de Dunkerque • Comédie de Valence, CDN Drôme-Ardèche
New creation on October 2015
MC2:Grenoble - 22 shows
Centre Charlie Chaplin, Vaulx-en-Velin • Théâtre Gérard Philipe, Feignies • Le Granit, Belfort
Each character, as exaggerated as they may be, always retains a bit of humanity, a truth brushed with humour and tenderness. Of course, they all destroy each other with their need to do good, of course, Nabil is not just their innocent victim but a clever manipulator, of course assimilation is a trap that swallows up those who use it. To get out, you’ll have to pay the price. But the whole thing is pleasant, cheerful, ironic and the nostalgic message shines through, without heaviness, driven by an actor who is outstandingly sympathetic and talented. LE MONDE
But A Christmas Star’s main advantage is Nasser Djemaï himself. An amazing actor, friendly, sensitive, funny and endearing, with a lot of finesse, depth, elegance. To be watched! LE FIGARO
Bright "Star" A little light and a few handfuls of white powder delineating the actor’s space. Nasser Djemaï barely needs anything else – an impressive actor who, with A Christmas Star, signs off on his first monologue with scathing humour - to make the theatre happen and inhabit the stage, with just his body, the ghosts of his life. Like an Algerian Caubère, he brilliantly passes from one character to the next by fading through accents, language registers, genres and eras. Characters among which Nabil's, the fictitious double of the author, loses a little bit more of himself every time. And that's what the text, the identity loss and the perverse violence of the good Samaritans of integration tell us. Highly autobiographical, the story tells the story of little Nabil, willing to do anything to become Prime Minister and respect his father’s wishes, an immigrant worker in the cement mines, far from home. LIBÉRATION