The Blue Sky of Provence
Picture Credit: Caithion
English Title: The Blue Sky of Provence
Japanese Title: プロヴァンスの碧い空
Romanized Title: Purovansu no Aoi Sora
Performances: Theater Drama City, 12/18 - 12/28; Le Theater Ginza, 3/5 - 3/20
Based On: Henri de Régnier's "Flaming Youth" (?) and Hermann Sudermann's 'Es War' ("Undying Past" in English)
Author/Director: Oota Tetsunori
Music: Yoshizaki Kenji
Choreography: Hayama Kiyomi
Available on DVD: VHS only
|Andre Movare (a young man who wants to be a diplomat)
|Philippe Javert (Andre's best friend from the same town of Provence)
|Germaine Nansère (wife of Auguste)
|Alan Claviere (military cadet. Louise's boyfriend)
|Alexandre Movare (Andre's father. head ofa amaritime company)
|Catherine de Sarnier (Alexandre's younger sister. A flower of high society)
|Simone Movare (Andre's mother)
|Auguste Nansère (A work friend of Alexander's)
|Edith Rancurou (Catherine's niece. Andre's cousin)
|Antoine Versins (Andre's school friend. wants to be a painter)
|Elie Dorvet (Andre's school friend who wants to be a poet)
|Anne-Marie (Edith's stepdaughter)
|Claude Bourget (eldest child of the Bourgets. Officer in the Foreign Legion)
|Louise Movare (Andre's sister)
|Bastien (old man in the tavern)
|Jean Mallard (Andre's friend)
|Jaque Domein (Andre's friend) / Michel (tenant farmer)
|Guy (tenant farmer)
|Anette Cotone (cleaning woman)
|Alice (Antoine's girlfriend) / Laura (maid)
|Louis (head of the tenant farmers)
|Verdon Minaguel (expert marksman) / Sergeant Esmere (officer in the Foreign Legion)
|Suzanne (daughter of the tavern owner)
|Albert (tavern owner)
|Jules (butler to the Movares)
|Madame Bourget (a customer of the Movares)
|Madame Leroy (a customer of the Movares) / Matthew (tenant farmer)
|Madame Mirabeau (a customer of the Movares) / Therese (maid)
|Meta (tenant farmer)
WARNING!! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!
After much searching, Philippe finds his friend Andre in a harbor tavern. Andre is not happy to be found, and tries to drive his friend away. How can he return home after what he has done? Who can forgive him? He can't forgive himself...
The younger, and happier, Andre and Philippe are the best of friends, sharing everything, supporting each other in everything. One day, Andre meets a beautiful woman who refuses to give him her name. It is only later, at a party thrown by his mother, that he learns she is Germaine Nansère, wife of one of his father's business acquaintances. The two start a fiery love affair. Meanwhile, Andre's friend Antoine is depressed over a woman he can't forget. He runs off to Spain with his girlfriend, leaving Andre the keys to his flat and the instructions to use it freely. Andre and Germaine use it as a place for their trysts. Rumors spread all over town, reaching even her husband's ears. He removes her to the country. Antoine returns, and finds a wallet with Germaine's name on it in his flat. He confronts Andre. Germaine, it turns out, is the woman Antoine can't forget.
Andre, meanwhile, despite the pleading of his family to pull himself together and find some direction, chooses instead to follow Germaine and her husband out into the country. Germaine, as a friend of his mother's, agrees to help further Andre's education. But her husband finds them together one day. He challenges Andre to a duel. During the duel, Andre kills Auguste. Andre is thrown into prison. While there, his ill father passes away. He joins the French Foreign Legion and flees to a post in Africa, which he describes as "hell". He spends seven alcohol-soaked years there before unexpectedly meeting a family friend one day. Claude tries to talk some sense into Andre, who should never have been just a common soldier. While sharing news from home, he mentions that Philippe had married three or four years previous. When Andre finds out that Philippe has married Germaine, he goes berserk.
Three more years pass, and finally Andre can't resist any more. He is drawn home, to Provence. There he treats Philippe coldly, unable to forgive his friend for marrying Germaine, and yet unable to tell him so. He is bitter and short-tempered with his family and the tenants. He discovers that his cousin Edith is only a shadow of her former self. She married an abusive man, who later passed away, and never quite recovered. Her stepdaughter, Anne Marie, takes care of her now. Another new member to the scene is Andre's sister Louise's boyfriend, a somewhat arrogant young man named Alan. Andre cuts the young cadet down to size not once, but multiple times, and Alan vows his revenge.
There are already rumors in the town of Germaine playing with other young men, even before Andre returns. He refuses to visit Philippe at home, and Philippe is distressed because Germaine has also said she doesn't want to see Andre again. And yet, Germaine sends her maid to arrange a secret meeting with Andre, on Friendship Island, and old island off the coast that Philippe and Andre played on as boys. Anne Marie overhears the conversation, and is captivated by the idea of an island called "Friendship Island", but Louise tells her it's too dangerous to go and play on.
Andre goes to meet Germaine. The two admit that they can't forget one another, but Andre is adamant that he will not do anything to cause his friend pain. He does, however, promise to call on them. Suddenly they are interrupted by shouting. There is a search party out for Anne Marie. Andre joins in, and is the first to find the girl. She talks to him about hating herself for her father, how happy she had been to have a new mother (her own passed away when she was seven), and how terrible it was to see what her father did to Edith. Andre reassures her that they are family now, and she is always welcome.
Edith, we later learn, has always been in love with Andre. In her unbalanced state, she hates Germaine, and hates that Germaine married Philippe. When Germaine pays her a call, asking her to be more cheerful and like her normal self so that Philippe isn't so worried about her, Edith accuses Germaine of being a demon, and tells her to leave before she ruins anything else.
Andre follows through on his promise to call on Philippe and Germaine. Shortly thereafter, however, he has returned to his bottle. Philippe comes and argues and pleads with him to stop his behavior, but Andre isn't sensible. At last, Philippe pointedly mentions that he will be away from home until morning, and then leaves. Unable to stop himself, Andre goes to see Germaine, and the two become lovers again.
Later, at his aunt's birthday party, Andre accompanies Germaine. They dance together, and then in front of the entire crowd, he kisses Germaine. The town is thrown into uproar over his behavior. Edith disappears, taking a gun with her. The horrified household goes in search of her, worried about what she might do to Germaine. Andre, meanwhile, arranges with Germaine to elope. Alan overhears them, and arranges for a Philippe to find them in the forest just as they are about to leave.
Faced with this situation, Philippe challenges Andre to a duel, but just as Germaine starts to plead with them Edith comes out of the trees and shoots Germaine. She dies in her husband's arms. Andre flees Provence.
It is this Andre that Philippe has found once more. The two men remember what has gone between them, but Philippe tells Andre that now, more than ever, the only thing he has left to believe in is their friendship. Andre plans a long, far voyage. His ship is leaving even as they speak. But he says that one day he hopes to return to the blue sky of Provence....
- The 1999 performance was the final show for Ayane Eika.
- The 2001 performance was the final show for Chigusa Kotomi.
The Blue Sky of Provence (1999) - Review by Ekusudei
Merchandise Cover Art