Manon Martin is a 24 year old actress and director from France who is recently working with Sarwanam. In France, she graduated in Acting and Cultural Management. Despite her young age she already did many things. She worked in various projects with different theatre companies, she was teaching drama to children and in India she even learned how to manufacture and play typical Rajasthani puppets.
And she clearly has some interesting things to say about drama, living in Nepal and purchasing chicken.
Excerpts from our talk:
R: How are you feeling in Nepal?
M: Quite fine…Actually, I´m feeling better than in France. Many things in Nepal are easier than In France. Here, there are not so many rules and so much bureaucracy. You just go and meet and talk to people. You don´t need to send your biodata or things like this first.
All in all living here, I found it quite easy. I didn´t have a cultural shock.
Yesterday for example I bought a whole chicken on the street or I just eat and drink in the small tea shops without wondering if it´s hygienic. I could have never done this one year before!
R: Why? What has changed?
M: Oh, I was travelling in India for sometimes. And now that I lived with Nepali people I just follow their way of living.
R: Do you feel that there are things that you couldn´t adjust to?
M: During bandha, I saw that many people couldn´t understand the political situation because of the lack of education and didn´t know how to react on it. Another thing is that women don´t have equal opportunities. Because of old traditions, their status depends so much on men. I feel that there is need for change. For me,it would be hard to accept this, to live in a society like this.
In Europe, women are in a comparably good situation, but still they complain a lot. And here, even if people are not happy, they don´t complain so much.
R: What kind of advice would you give to the young people living here?
M: That is really difficult..Be happy! If you follow rules just because they are rules, that will never make you happy.
I think living according to your own rules could be a very good experience if you are strong enough to stand against thousand years of tradition…which is very difficult.
R: Let´s talk about theatre! In how far is theatre in Nepal different from theatre in Europe?
M: I don´t find it so very different. Rehearsals for example, I think are the same all over the world. There´s always a group of actors and a director and some one forgets his line…
I guess the most important difference are the topics. In Nepal plays often deal with every day life and the political situation, themes that are very current and very practical. In France, you find all kinds of topics. The Brecht play performed by Gurukul for example was really good. It was presented in a very artistic ways and also had these scenes that make us dream.
R: What kind of project would you like to conduct in Nepal?
M: I would like to create links between foreign culture and Nepal. I think it would be very good for French artists to come here and exchange knowledge.
R: Which play would you like to direct here?
M: There´s for example „le petit prince“, which is a novel for kids, but mostly adults read it, because it makes you understand many things. You could transform it to present it on stage. And here, somehow adults are also kids.
R: And it is also the story of a journey, isn´t it?
M: Yes..Or Shakespeare would also be nice, because of the magical atmosphere..I could also imagine to direct a love story, but a nice one. One that works.I also would like to work with puppet here.
R: You seem to have many ideas! Could you imagine to live in Nepal for the rest of your life?
M: Yes, why not? If there´s no earthquake or no revolution, it is a very nice country! I never had so many ideas in France like I do here.
R: Could you briefly describe your life in France?
M: In France, I´m working as an actress. That means once or twice a month I have performances and rehearsals. And I was also working as a volunteer and teaching French to foreigners. Furthermore I work in the administration of one company, doing communication and working on their webpage..I don´t have much of a regular schedule, sometimes I was also teaching drama and directed concerts with three musicians in Lyon.
Just on minute!!!!:
What is your favourite:
-Playwright? Wajdi Mouawad. (he directed a 13 hour show and people were not at all bored)
-Music? Mostly Jazz singer.
-Food? All kinds of Pasta, Italian, Chinese, fried..
-Sound? Hearing people laugh
-Visual Artist? Turner and Monet
-Movie? I quite liked Aamir Khan´s „Taari Zamiin Par“ that I saw recently.