3pm - The Grand Theatre of Lemmings et Samuel Gardes / ’The Illusionarium’
The first day began with ’The Illusionnarium’, a performance for the general audience on a high-tech machine from the last century, inside which members of the audience get to star in a home made movie. They try to create a film called ’The Bribe of Kong’.
The actors, it can be you, me, it depends on your ability to catch the camera’s eye. If you are a successful applicant for the casting, welcome to a world of glitz and glamour, because you will have the chance to be directed by a demanding director. Who knows ? Maybe you will be part of the forthcoming Oscars ceremony, rewarded for your interpretation in this future blockbuster.
But the situation can turn into a nightmare if King Kong falls madly in love with you. The Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin song ’Je t’aime, moi non plus’ triggers in the animal an uncontrollable excess of affectivity.
The animal finds it difficult to understand the subtlety of the notion ’me neither’ and confronted to your refusal, the shooting can become chaotic…Keep children away because no one knows what the animal is capable of and failing bride…The director could pay the price for it.
4pm – It’s time to have an afternoon snack !
Didier and Brigitte, the cooks of the Atelier 231, prepared for the ’Total Crêpes’ about 500 pancakes and 48 litres of hot chocolate. Enough to feed a regiment ! The pancakes were eaten very quickly and when the children had eaten enough, everyone made the most of the ’Photographers’, to have their pictures taken ’in the old-style’. As in previous years, it was a success !
The most courageous have taken up the challenges posed by the unusual sideshow characters of Hocus Pocus company. Shy at first sight, it only took few minutes for the children to accept the arm wrestling competition launched by a woman whose arm was comparable to my leg circumference.The children shouted and gathered around the competitors ; all that was needed was banknotes put on the table to create the atmosphere of a dive, built in a rush on a cardboard box. A teenager won the battle and raised his arms as Rocky Balboa. His friends laughed and captured the event with their mobile phones. The teenager didn’t move. Facebook does the rest.
For the others, they preferred to play to a mysterious game with a ’bearded lady’, or to consult the fortune−teller’s cards, whose predictions are as reliable as those of a trader swearing on his children’s lives that he would not do it again.
17h30 – Gandini Juggling / ’Smashed’
9 chairs are arranged and several dozen apples are laid on the ground. The set is sober as the 2 women and 7 men’s clothes, the artists get on stage giving the impression they have just finished a working day at the City of London. Do they represent a certain image of modern society ? However, these women and men will perform during 45 minutes, a choreographed juggling show that leaves no one indifferent. The complexity of the choreography required an extreme precision from these comedians/ jugglers who performed with grace and lightness. Apples floating in the air (as in non-gravity), whereas the tangle of bodies prevents us from identifying with certainty who is throwing and who is catching. The image is strong and time seems to be strechted. Seduction games start between men and women. The predation and the manipulation are not so far. The women bit into the fruit and the image of Adam and Eve comes to our minds.
But this well-oiled machine doesn’t last. This ease in the movements and the smiles suddenly stop. A grain of sand interferes in this perfect harmony of bodies. The thread, on which this alchemy is based, breaks and is replaced by the individualities. The apples fall, they frown, the tension is palpable. A metaphor of a changing society ? At the end of the show, the comedians attacked the emblematic English ’cup of tea’…The cup of tea will suffer the same fate as the apples and will fall to the ground. The show ended on a chaotic image. The audience applauded wholeheartedly. Behind me, my neighbour said to his wife, ’With the British people it would not end differently’.
Photos : Caroline Lelong