12 June 2023
Comedy in two parts and ten scenes.
Théâtre des Variétés (1946).
Main performers at the creation
Henri Vilbert – César
Alibert – Marius
Raymond Pellegrin – Césariot
Arius – Panisse
Orane Demazis – Fanny
Margueritte Chabert – Honorine
Maupi – Le chauffeur
Milly Mathis – Claudine
Panisse is dying. Twenty years have passed since his marriage to Fanny. Before dying, he entrusts his friend Elzéar, the priest, with a letter to give to Fanny, after his death. Then, he asks Césariot, their son called back to his bedside, to watch over his mother. Later, in order to respect her husband’s last wishes, Fanny tells Césariot that Panisse was not his real father and that he is in fact Marius’ son. The latter now works in his garage in Toulon with an associate, a disreputable individual who, as a joke, provides Césariot with very bad information about his father.
Césariot warns Fanny when he talks to her about Marius, for whom he feels, in spite of everything, a growing sympathy. When he comes to see his father, César, Marius will find the words to convince Fanny that he has never stopped loving her.
When one has made a good confession, and repented well, one goes to heaven.
Yes, perhaps. But there’s one idea that bothers me:
Elzéar’s Good God – ours, that is – if it WASN’T TRUE?
Oh, Diou’s cunt!
What are you saying?
I mean I know Muslims, Hindus, Chinese, Negroes. Their God is not the same, and they don’t do as we do!
We have sins that are good deeds for them, and vice versa… Maybe they are wrong, mind you… But there are millions of them… If they were right, Mr. Brown?
The question can certainly be asked.
Poor Honoré is all prepared, much to the taste of the Good God of Elzéaz. And if, when he arrives at the corner of a cloud, he finds himself in front of a Good God to whom he has never been introduced? A black, or yellow, or red Good God? Or one of these Good Gods dressed as a puppet, as one sees in the antique shop, or the one with the big belly?
Or the one who has as many arms as an esquinade?
Poor Panisse, what is he going to tell him? In what language?
With what gestures? (To Escartefigue) Do you see yourself, already tired by your death, and all dizzy from your journey, trying to explain yourself with a God who doesn’t understand you? And no matter how much you pray to him, he tells you:
“What? What? What are you saying?”
And he tells you in Chinese?
Terrible situation. Now you’re giving me the shivers. (He drinks.)
Shut up, you big miscreant. What about the Holy Bible, then, is it all lies? And the Gospels? Aren’t you ashamed to say such things in front of the altar boy?
If you went to church a little more often, instead of drinking so much pastis, you would know that there is only one God!
And that God is ours.
Yes, of course, the good one is ours. But then, there are many people on earth who are stupid. I feel sorry for them. Isn’t that right, Mr. Brown?