Hélène lives with her partner Danny. One evening, her brother Liam arrives without warning at their home. He is covered in blood. In a state of shock, he speaks confusedly about an “accident” and “a young injured guy” that he would have taken in his arms. Whereas Danny and Hélène try understand more about the event, the truth is twisted in Liam’s words, his speech becomes more and more ambiguous. Tensions arise in the heart of the house, gradually revealing the darkness of each of the three characters.
“Orphelins” is as well crafted as a psychological thriller, a spellbinding detective story or a dark comedy. Dennis Kelly keeps us under tension from beginning to end by showing us how the most raw violence can suddenly burst into a family unit and set it ablaze to the point of no return.
For Elsa Chêne, “if the play touches the heart, it is because in reality it speaks only of us, humans who believe that love is, and must be, definitively stronger than anything”. And as the play progresses, it is indeed love that we are going to be wary of, of this love that runs in the veins and sticks to the skin until it becomes slick, until it imposes, subjugates, and excludes everything that could legitimately nuance it.