"Les Palmes de Monsieur Schutz" by Jean-Noël Fenwick
We are privileged to have the possibility to stage the play in London.
"Les Palmes de Monsieur Schutz" by Jean-Noël Fenwick, picturing the life of Marie
Curie won 4 Molières prizes and was also made as a movie (with Isabelle Huppert)
"Les Palmes de M Schutz" by Jean-Noël Fenwick, adapted by Ron Clark
The play is a humorous exploration of the inter-relationships of the characters,
something of a French romantic comedy with a strong dose of scientific joi de vivre.
Surprisingly, it has never previously been performed in the UK
The setting is Paris in the late 1890s, concluding c 1898 with the discovery of radium.
The plot is generally faithful to the sequence of events - but shouldn't be regarded
as strictly biographical as the characters do not necessarily correspond precisely
with real people.
There are 5 roles:
Marie (of course!) - a woman in her early 20s, both passionate and extremely committed
to science. Intially somewhat dowdy she becomes more vibrant by the close of act
1. Above all she is a romantic depiction of the female and feminist scientist.
Pierre - a man in his early 30s but prematurely aged with his beard. As passionate
and monk-like in his own way, similar to Marie but also with a romantic, clumsy and
Bemont - early 30s - redhead - a standard character who plays off Pierre. He represnts
the fall from pure science into patents and making money from science.
Georgette - a thickset waitress in her early 40s. Although a minor role, she provides
in the most part a foil to the others and introduces a different social class.
Chevrier - a somewhat corpulent bourgeois in his 50s who wishes to be a French academician
looking for dead men's shoes. Not a scientist of note, he is more of a manager,
and highly ambitious.