L’EFFET DE SERGE
Alone in his apartment, Serge escapes the burden of the everyday by concocting micro-performances, one to three minutes in length, that he presents every Sunday to his friends. With small remote-controlled toys, blue flares and flashing headlights, he brings odds and ends to life before our eyes, creating an astounding fairy-tale world that hinges between reality and artifice. For this phlegmatic, dreamy anti-hero, secreted within the emptiness of contemporary life is flamboyant material for invention.
Consisting of a core group of diligent accomplices – five men, one woman, a dog – the Vivarium Studio enjoyed immediate success, attracting enthusiastic audiences to its iconoclastic theatre laboratory. The company pursues its microscopic observation of the human being in this falsely artless piece, where the comedy is muted and exhibits the nonsense inherent in the lives we live. While taking a swipe in passing at the inanity of an art critic, L’effet de Serge proclaims the absolute necessity of the creative act, no matter how small or substandard it may be.
PRODUCED BY VIVARIUM STUDIO
CONCEPT, DIRECTION & SET DESIGN: PHILIPPE QUESNE
WITH ISABELLE ANGOTTI + RODOLPHE AUTÉ + CYRIL GOMEZ-MATHIEU + GAËTAN VOURC’H + LOCAL GUESTS
COPRODUCTION MÉNAGERIE DE VERRE – PARIS WITH THE SUPPORT OF FORUM SCÈNE CONVENTIONNÉE DE BLANC-MESNIL + FESTIVAL ACTORAL MONTÉVIDÉO – MARSEILLE + DRAC ÎLE-DE-FRANCE – MINISTÈRE DE LA CULTURE ET DE LA COMMUNICATION + SERVICE CULTUREL DU CONSULAT GÉNÉRAL DE FRANCE À QUÉBEC + CULTURESFRANCE
PRESENTED BY FESTIVAL TRANSAMÉRIQUES
IN ASSOCIATION WITH CARREFOUR INTERNATIONAL DE THÉÂTRE DE QUÉBEC
REDACTION: CATHERINE CYR
TRADUCTION: NEIL KROETSCH
PHILIPPE QUESNE (PARIS)
Founded in 2003 by Philippe Quesne, a set designer who trained at the Arts décoratifs school in Paris and who has extensive experience in theatre, opera and contemporary art exhibits, Vivarium Studio is resolutely focussed on the living as it pursues its ongoing observation of the behaviour of that strange social animal, the human being.
With Quesne as artistic director, the group consists of a small core of diligent accomplices – five men, one woman and a dog. They create hybrid works, theatrical contraptions that obscure the boundaries between theatre and performance. In diverse environments, the members of the group compose a sort of tableau vivant onstage, erasing the tidy contours of character or simulating a performative drama developed in situ (such as D’après nature, 2006), where the banality of reality reveals its unsettling strangeness. From its first presentation, La démangeaison des ailes (2003), a variegated piece that explored the desire for flight and the danger of falling, to the edgy “ecological fable” D’après nature, which takes place in a futuristic terrarium, and then on to L’effet de Serge, the company has consistently sketched delicate portraits of the human beast. Never heroic, these humans live their lives in low-key fashion, in small poetic depictions of daily life and in the simple joy of being together. The plays are a tribute to humans and their creativity, as well as stylish, innovative presentations.