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 Post subject: James Thiérrée
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2002 2:12 am 
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The not-easy-to-please Benedict Nightingale becomes another fan of:

The Junebug Symphony
by Benedict Nightingale in The Times


IT’S THE sort of night with which you’ll probably be all too familiar.
The bed tilts until you’re hanging sideways off it. A hand appears from nowhere and scratches you. Your arms and feet fall off and get swept beneath the bed. Your pillow disappears, then gets stuck to your face. Smoke covers you and the bed. Sleeplessness becomes restlessness becomes a dream in which everything from gravity to biology goes alarmingly askew.

It’s also the opening to The Junebug Symphony, a surreal circus staged and largely performed by James Thiérrée, who started his career as a tot in Le Cirque Imaginaire. That was the creation of his parents, Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée and Victoria Chaplin — Charlie’s daughter since you ask — and was notable for a quaint simplicity. I saw it more than once, and recall tightrope-walking a few feet off the ground and tricks, not with elephants and tigers, but with geese and ducks. Thiérrée and Chaplin provided the hints: you did the imagining.

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<small>[ 09 April 2004, 04:16 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: James Thiérrée
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 2:21 am 
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Image <BR><small>Compagnie Du Hanneton - "The Junebug Symphony"</small><P>Keith Watson also enjoys "The Junebug Symphony". The French do seem to have a knack with these high quality accessible dance/illusion shows. Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu and Philippe Decoufle come to mind. I thought I'd already posted this one, but it appears I was in error:<P><B>Imagination runs wild</B><BR>The Junebug Symphony<BR>Rating: 2* (out of 3)<BR>Dir: James Thierree.Compagnie Du Hanneton <BR>by Keith Watson in The Evening Standard<P><BR>It's a rare show that can keep kids enthralled while still stoking the fires of the adult imagination but The Junebug Symphony carries it off with acrobatic aplomb, balancing slapstick circus with dark humour in a seamless mix that's imbued with an enthralling sense of wonder. <P>The brainchild of James ThierrÈe, grandson of Charlie Chaplin and veteran (even though he's only 27) of Cirque Imaginaire, The Junebug Symphony plays like a fantastical waking dream, opening the trapdoor at the base of the skull, letting a suitcase stuffed with bizarre events and curious creatures come tumbling out.<P><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/theatre/top_review.html?in_review_id=534383&in_review_text_id=508394" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited April 11, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: James Thiérrée
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 9:37 pm 
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<B>The Junebug Symphony</B><BR>Lyric, Hammersmith<P> <BR>The Junebug Symphony Following a very short run at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last year, the Compagnie du Hanneton's mesmerising show returns with a slightly altered line – up that in no way diminishes its appeal.<P>Heading the cast is the supremely gifted show director/designer James Thierree. Having worked in his parents' – Victoria Chaplin and Jean Baptiste Thierree – circuses since the age of four, it is no wonder he has mastered so many different skills, with trapeze, acrobatics and trick-cycling to name just a few.<P><A HREF="http://www.thestage.co.uk/paper/0215/0206.shtml" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: James Thiérrée
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 2:15 am 
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Wonderworld
By Tina Jackson for South Bank Magazine

It’s not about something,’ says James Thiérrée gently. ‘It’s more
about moods and colours and rhythms. There’s no story – it’s
spectacle.’ Thiérrée is attempting to put into words the concept behind his
Compagnie du Hanneton’s forthcoming new work, La Veillée des Abysses, a fantastical
piece of physical theatre for all age groups which blends circus skills with mime,
dance and performance.

You will need Adobe Acrobat to read this article:

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 Post subject: Re: James Thiérrée
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:48 am 
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I've consolidated two topics:

Julia Skene-Wenzel posted 10 April 2004 10:48 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Easter Delirium 2004
James Thierree presents ‘La Veillee des Abysses’
Fri 9 April 2004, Queen Elizabeth Hall
Reviewed by Julia Skene-Wenzel

Remember the magic of an attic, filled with old furniture and books, the smell of dust and the air of lives gone by? A world, that offers endless possibilities for play and transformation? James Thierree invites us to join his. Following his success with ‘Junebug Symphony’ in 2001, he presents ‘La Veillee des Abysses’- a gathering of a special kind.

Opening in the middle of a storm, the stage reveals six people fighting against the wind and subsequent waves of a big white cloth - until it swallows them and the scene calms. It allows air-borne Brazilian dancer and acrobat Thiago Martins, to fly and rotate through the space like nothing you have seen before. Legendary Swedish dancer Niklas Ek gets into all sort of mischief, including a giant trapeze-like swing, while opera singer Uma Ysamat battles with her piano. In the meantime, contortionist Raphaelle Boitel appears from a suitcase, to give way to Belgium Gaelle Bisellach-Roig’s juggling number, involving customary clubs, with an unusual twist. Surrounded by a table which turns into a cartwheel, a sofa that swallows people, a big castle gate to keep away creatures of the night and various other entrapments, the piece is a kaleidoscope of styles, scenes and talents, held together by Thierree’s unique vision.
Fusing theatre, dance and circus, he has the audience in stitches with his blend of slap stick routines, paired with excellent body control and vivid facial expressions. At the same time, his collaborators execute highly challenging routines with total ease, enthusiasm and charisma. At its zenith the storm returns and the entire cast sails away to new adventures and distant lands.

‘La Veillee des Abysses’ is a poetic revelation that engages all senses and challenges our perception of performance art – a spectacle not to be missed.

<small>[ 10 April 2004, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: James Thiérrée
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:49 am 
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Thanks a lot for this review Julia. I've been meaning to see this artist for some time and as a result of your comments I've pencilled in the Monday performance now.

<small>[ 10 April 2004, 11:51 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: James Thiérrée
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 12:09 am 
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Try to see it from my point of view
By Donald Hutera for The Times


THIS show by James Thiérrée’s Compagnie du Hanetton is bursting at the seams with ideas, talent and an infectious sense of discovery. Like its predecessor, The Junebug Symphony, it’s not easy to categorise. Yet its buoyant fusion of circus and other performing skills, the range of choreographed movement it contains and its theatrical chutzpah render conventional labels irrelevant. No need to analyse it. Better simply to bask in the robust collective imagination of an international cast of six.

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 Post subject: Re: James Thiérrée
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 6:03 am 
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Quote:
Shipwreck fantasy, plus a troop of busking gibbons

By ISMENE BROWN
The Daily Telegraph
April 12, 2004

Storytelling should be an escape - magical, fantastical, adorable. At points in La Veillée des Abysses, I thought I had been swallowed into a parallel world, tossed on Delacroix's paintbrush, out in the storm with King Lear, so captivating are its effects.
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 Post subject: Re: James Thiérrée
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:47 am 
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Quote:
La Veillée des Abysses, Royal Festival Hall

By ZOE ANDERSON
The Independent
April 14, 2004

La Veillée doesn't live up to this enchanting start. Thiérrée's last show, The Junebug Symphony, was loved for its poetry as well as its astonishing circus skills. Those qualities are here, too, but the illusions are fitful and too many episodes drag. But Thiérrée's stage sense is remarkable.
more in the second part of the linked article


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 Post subject: Re: James Thiérrée
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 2:10 am 
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La Veillée des Abysses
By David Dougill for The Sunday Times

At the Queen Elizabeth Hall, James Thiérrée (grandson of Charlie Chaplin) and his French new-circus Compagnie du Hanneton transformed a spare stage into a spectacular realm of surrealist fantasy for their new production, La Veillée des Abysses.

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<small>[ 18 April 2004, 04:10 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: James Thiérrée
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:48 am 
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Quote:
La Veillée des Abysses, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

By JENNY GILBERT
The Independent
April 18, 2004

It takes a peculiar genius to turn theatrical rules on their head and not trip up, but James Thiérrée has genius running through his veins. The opening of his latest elaborately titled and utterly unclassifiable show really shouldn't succeed, but it does.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 4:51 am 
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La Veillée des abysses
By David Dougill for The Sunday Times.

James Thiérrée’s captivating circus-theatre show La Veillée des abysses, first seen in London last year at the South Bank, has returned for a season, this time at the Peacock Theatre.

Make what you will of this surreal fantasy, which begins and ends with a spectacular shipwreck, in between marooning a cast of five in what might be the backstage of a theatre, amid a conglomeration of props and scenery.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:48 am 
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On Wednesday 5th October, I went to see James Thiérrée’s “Veillée des Abysses”. The show had opened at the Peacock Theatre the evening before.

The poster for the production was promising in itself, a surreal landscape inhabited by a man in what looked like a journey of the imagination in which familiar objects became part of an amazing composition of light and colour. The realisation of this concept was not disappointing, in fact it was truly wonderful and the spectacle was one of the most beautiful theatrical experiences I have seen for a very long time.

The opening of the piece was that journey depicted on the poster, a man travelling across the stage with several ladders and against the wind. This image of the wind propelling the characters opened and closed the show and thus, the journey acquired a cyclic dimension or, as Thiérrée himself explained in the programme, the beginning could be seen as the end and the end as the beginning.

James Thiérrée is Charles Chaplin’s grandson and it shows. His theatrical craft is a mixture of perfection and simplicity that touches one’s heart and provides the most enduring form of entertainment. There were moments when the image of Thiérrée’s grandfather was so vivid in the recreation of some of his gags on stage, that one could not help but admire the genius of Chaplin in being able to make us laugh decades after decades with the apparently simplest means.

There are five performers in the show: a soprano, a dancer/actor, an acrobat, a contortionist and a capoeira dancer. If the mixture of techniques seems a bit improbable, the combination of such talents –and what talent they all have!- is a breathtaking feast for the senses.

There is no story as such. Just a journey through time and space and through the relationships between the performers with each other and themselves. “La Veillée des Abysses” is an exploration of human nature at its most touching. It shows our ability to laugh, to be awkward and childish and this is the secret to the show’s enduring beauty. There are no big statements about human nature, just sketches taken from everyday life that highlight our ability to put ourselves in ridiculous situations and habits even if we try to make them look grand and serious.

There were wonderful visual moments throughout the piece, but my favourite one was the one in which Thiérrée is guarding a gate and Raphaëlle Boitel – the contortionist- starts climbing the gate. She seemed like a small lizard climbing up a gate on a sunny day, her movements had both the fluidity and the sharpness that the little animals have. Thiérrée starts chasing her and the joy of his quest and her elegance created a sequence of unrepressed joy.

It was also wonderful to see the wonderful acting and dancing abilities of Niklas Ek; and it was wonderful because they showed how beautiful a mature person is on stage. In a world where youth is priced and cherished to see this man acting and dancing the way he did was simply breathtaking.

Thiago Martins brought the technical precision of capoeira dancing in neverending sequences of jumps and turns that gave the show a quality of physical perfection at its highest levels.

Uma Ysamat –soprano- blended her skills with the rest of the performers with brilliance and her number with the piano was a delight to watch.

Finally, credit to Thiérrée for the whole concept of the piece and his wonderful performance throughout.

This is a show to treasure. Its simplicity and yet its incredible sense of theatre, of its possibilities, of its ability to touch our hearts makes “La Veillée des Abysses” one of the best performances to be seen on the stage at present. It is funny, it is touching, it is visually stunning, it has amazing performances and, yes, like the poster, it is totally surreal.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 6:13 am 
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Raphaelle Boitel
From The Stage

Appearing with James Thierree since she was 13 has given Raphaelle Boitel a maturity far beyond her 21 years.

The svelte French contortionist and acrobat explains: “I began in circus when I was ten, doing a street show with my brother in the south of France. We were passionate about it.

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