Mr. Octopus has pain in his navel

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Mr Poulpe, in Vouvray (Indre-et-Loire), May 21, 2022.

Monsieur Poulpe chose the stage as an outlet for his midlife crisis. His first show is titled Navel. On the poster, he walks like a tightrope walker on top of a wall. The message is clear: talking about yourself can be a headache. Like the pseudonym behind which he has always hidden, Monsieur Poulpe has more than one string to his bow: early YouTuber who has become an actor, columnist, screenwriter, television host (“Les Recettes Tipsy”, “Crac Crac” on Canal +), it only remained for him to rub shoulders with the one-man-show. For two months, he takes over the great hall of the Palais des Glaces in Paris, for an exercise in deconstruction that he claims “honest and sincere” but whose elaboration turns out to be flawed.

At the age of 42, this multifaceted artist with a phlegm and sympathetic casualness, takes stock of his life and his career, and recognizes that he has a little ” lost “ by dint of scattering “artistically and personally”. One evening of stoned, he found the concept of his show: two stand-up microphones, one “of the truth”, the other “craziness”. In front of the first, he reveals, with real authenticity, his traumas of a solitary childhood, his sentimental ruptures linked to the fear of commitment, his recurring stomach aches and his colonoscopy, his multiple professions (beginnings in graphic design , five years at Disneyland in the costume of Goofy) and his decisive encounters (Antoine de Caunes). In front of the second, he raves about imaginary characters, plays the Mr Octopus we know, quirky and absurd, to mask his emotions.

fan audience

This clever staging could have worked if the comedian had not sought useless and tiresome crutches. His recourse to a dozen spectators in the first rows – even if it is to attribute to them a far-fetched role – turns out to be in vain. His descent into the room to sing and his recurring appeals to the “ninja public” appear laborious. This first one-man-show suffers from a problem of rhythm and is above all aimed at an audience of fans. They will undoubtedly be happy to find the zaniness of this pillar of the Golden Show and to learn a lot about his personal life.

Monsieur Poulpe has a real talent as an actor, knows how to tell stories and does not take himself seriously. The honesty of his approach (“find meaning in your life”) manages to move us at the very end of his show. But before, we didn’t laugh a lot in front of this psychoanalysis session, with the exception of a sequence where the comedian makes his sex speak, the center of all his torments. Above all, all of this would need to be shared in a more intimate room. But in the comedy industry, you’re betting on television notoriety to fill five-hundred-seat places, whatever the subject.

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