Born in Tunis on January 3, 1942, John Gilbert Youssef Guez, referred to as John Guez, handed away in Paris on Wednesday, August 2, on the age of 81. With a good-looking face, childlike flexibility and vitality, and an uncanny class, John Guez was a road performer, an entertainer, between 1977 and 2006. Guez was a fixture exterior the Centre Georges-Pompidou from the second it opened, often posted on the Place Edmond-Michelet positioned in Paris’s 4th arrondissement. The neighborhood, referred to as Beaubourg, had been dwelling to the heyday of road theater because the Nineteen Sixties (with the Dwelling Theatre and Dario Fo), however Guez took the artwork type to one in all its biggest peaks. The opposite artists within the sq. known as him “il Maestro.”
Actors (Michel Piccoli, Michael Lonsdale, amongst others) used to slide incognito into the viewers, a circle (generally a sq.) made up of odd passers-by, vacationers, foreigners, lovers, and misplaced souls from throughout, whom Guez was expert at gathering round him. His solely prop was a bamboo wand, which he would use to summon the police, Sarkozy or the nice Lord. Guez may spontaneously collect a crowd, possibly 100 or 200 passers-by, and get them to behave. In a light-colored go well with or white jacket, along with his garments elegantly rumpled, including a spotlessly clear Columbo-style raincoat within the winter, Guez would run and soar with grace, summoning somebody right here and there from the spontaneous circle and directing them as if by magic.
Straddling the road between improv and comedy, the artist knew the way to translate his abilities as an entertainer into classes of civic consciousness. An actor, creator and director, his work was rooted in medieval mysteries, the commedia dell’arte, Enfants du Paradis (Youngsters of Paradise), and extra. A lesson in theater, a little bit of group remedy, a uncommon second of collective laughter was reworked into civic reflection. At instances, it escalated. Guez had indignation on the tip of his tongue, fast to place down social injustice, domination and struggle, whereas lifting up nurses, childhood and the college of the Republic – all with out being bitter or pompous.
Case regulation for road performances
The strategy was easy: embarking on a spontaneous adaptation of Les Misérables, he would randomly recruit apprentice actors from the viewers. Nobody ever refused the invitation. There have been some impressed Cosettes, some British Jean Valjeans who needed to play in French, some uncooperative princes, little boys stuffed with promise, a really decided African within the position of Thénardier, and a girl holding her purse within the position of Madame Thénardier.
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