“Come for the show, stay for the woe“ is the motto of the morbid circus at the centre of STEREOPTIK’S latest piece.
Dark Circus is the result of a collaboration between Pef, author and illustrator of «The Prince of Motordu» and numerous other children’s books, and Romain Bermond and Jean-Baptiste Maillet of STEREOPTIK. A chance meeting 9 years ago blossomed into a friendship, and from this friendship grew the desire to create something together.
Dark Circus represents two firsts for STEREOPTIK. It is the first time the company will work from a script, and the first time words will be spoken on stage, a down-at-the-heels rocker of an emcee has the honour… In this sad circus the catastrophes pile up, one number after another. The trapezist crashes to the ground, the animal trainer is devoured by his lion, the human cannonball never returns from outer space. Luckily there’s a clumsy juggler to breathe a little colour into the proceedings.
If the circus is dark, the tone is light. Music and images accompany the action and the story is laced with poetic moments and a healthy dose of irony: “Come for the show, stay for the woe.”
The ink drawings that provide the backdrop for Dark Circus, thick and black, resemble photographs in their use of light and contrast. The various techniques used onstage create images of extraordinary beauty and inventiveness. Here, the visual magic of the theatre meets the childlike wonder of the circus. Before our eyes, an urban landscape of buildings and streets transforms into a crowd-filled tent. Lit from above, a drum set becomes a runway to the stars, the neck of a guitar morphs into a stern animal trainer. A few flicks of an eraser and a wild horse is liberated from the ring, spreading poetry in his wake.
Production : STEREOPTIK
Created and performed:
Romain Bermond and Jean-Baptiste Maillet
Based on an original story: Pef
Artistic collaborator: Frédéric Maurin
Stage Manager: Arnaud Viala and Frank Jamond
Production and Administration: Emmanuel Magis and Clémence Pierre
About The Company
Created in 2008 at the same time as the eponymous show, STEREOPTIK brings together Romain Bermond and Jean-Baptiste Maillet, both visual artists and musicians. Based on a score they build and write together, every one of their shows is built under the eyes of its audience, live. Theatre of shadows, of objects and puppets, silent films, unplugged or electronic concerts, fairy tales and cartoons are so many fields and genres whose boundaries STEREOPTIK likes to play with.
At the heart of the many forms of art that appear on the stage is one principle: to show the audience the technical process that leads to the apparition of characters, of scenes, of a story.