From Je suis Cobain (whatever) to Corps Célestes, Dany Boudreault is associated with the cutting edge of creation in Quebec. This week, the actor returns to the stage of the Théâtre Denise-Pelletier, five years after his impressive Puck, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In Castles of the Sky, he plays Ludwig II of Bavaria, an extraordinary king. And less crazy than you think.

He is an extraordinary, extravagant, fascinating king! Ludwig of Wittelsbach, crowned Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, at 19, was the subject of several ballets, operas, plays and films, including the memorable Ludwig – The Twilight of the Gods, by Visconti, with Helmut Berger and Romy Scheinder .

Cousin of Empress Sissi, bisexual and devout Catholic, passionate about music, patron and protractor of Richard Wagner, Louis II was “a model of philanthropy”, according to Boudreault. “He really believes in the beauty of art to save the world,” says the “great Germanophile” actor who speaks German.

Contrary to popular myth, Ludwig was not crazy, believes Dany Boudreault. “In any case, I’m not playing madness,” says the actor who defends the role on the TDP stage until April 15. “He will be removed from power because of his so-called madness. I see him more as an idealistic, dysfunctional, pre-age queer king. A king who does not fit with his time or in the system. And a deeply lonely man. »

Castles of the sky is signed Marie-Claude Verdier, in a staging by Claude Poissant. In 2022, the young author won the pric Michel-Tremblay for the best text created on stage, that of Seeker. “Marie-Claude is an amazing author, endowed with an exceptional imagination! She wrote a science fiction text (Seeker), just after this historical drama, built like an epic, with a breath that is reminiscent of romantic authors, like Schiller or Victor Hugo, “he says.

For the actor, Castles of the sky is not another story of royalty like so many plays in the repertoire. “Albert Camus said that we should be on the side of those who experience history, rather than those who make it. In my opinion, Ludwig also suffered it. He was an isolated king, then deposed by force, died in exile in circumstances still unknown. Louis is not just heir to the throne; he is a victim crushed by the system. »

This disappointed king will resist the state of the world of Europe in the 19th century. The kingdom is at war when Ludwig accedes to the throne and the young king comes up against the policy of Chancellor Bismarck. “I see him as a great idealist, with an immense thirst for the absolute. He has no children. He wants to leave a trace, a legacy of beauty. So he financed the construction of a large theatre, designed especially for Wagner, which has now become the Bayreuth Festival Palace. And of course, he had those famous fairy tale castles built. Architectural marvels integrated with nature in the Alps. Moreover, the set of castles in Bavaria remains the most visited tourist attraction in Germany, ”explains the actor who went to visit them last summer when he learned his text.

Any repressed desire can end up making a human unstable. Towards the end of his life, Ludwig lived only at night and could not stand daylight. He hides and fears the external world. “There are connections to be made with the character of Blanche Dubois. Like Ludwig, the heroine of Tennessee Williams refuses to grow old and does not come out of adolescence, of her obsessions. There is also something of Michael Jackson’s Neverland in Louis II’s universe. People who lock themselves in their imagination to escape reality. In a dream world,” he concludes.

Director Claude Poissant directs an impressive cast. In addition to Dany Boudreault, there are Mikhaïl Ahooja, Félix Beaulieu-Duchesneau, Annick Bergeron, Frédéric Blanchette, Myriam Gaboury, Maxime Genois, Fabrice Girard, Daniel Parent and Mary-Lee Picknell.