Bêtes de Foire - Petit Théâtre de Gestes (France)

A brushstroke of Kantor, an evocation of Calder and its burlesque touch make Bêtes de Foire infinitely precious! Absolutely not to be missed: circus, object theatre, dance and puppets! To see from 8 to 108 years!

13 and 14 May at 7pm (Saturday and Sunday)
18 and 19 May at 9pm (Thursday and Friday)
20 and 21 May at 7pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Portuguese Premiere

Conceived by: Laurent Cabrol, Elsa De Witte In the circus ring: Laurent Cabrol, Elsa De Witte, Sokha Set design: Laurent Cabrol, Elsa De Witte, assisted by Fred Sintomer Figure sculpture: Steffie Bayer Figure construction: Ana Mano, Thierry Grand Music: Mathias Imbert, Natacha Muet, Piéro Pépin, Eric Walspeck Sound design: Francis Lopez Lighting design: Hervé Dilé, Fabien Viviani Bench: Fred Sintomer Acknowledgements: Antonin Bernier, Laurent Bonnard, Tó Quintas, Nino /Amalia / Mélinée Administration: Les Thérèses Photography: Lionel Pesqué, Philippe Laurençon, Vincent Muteau Production: Bêtes de foire - Petit Théâtre de Gestes / Association Z’Alegria Co-production: Scène Nationale d’Albi, Derrière le Hublot, Capdenac Supports: Drac Midi-Pyrénées, Conseil régional Midi-Pyrénées Technique: Circus, object theatre, dance and puppets Language: Without words For audiences over: +8 Running time: 60 min.
In partnership with: Museu de Lisboa, Programação em Espaço Público and São Luiz Teatro Municipal
Presentation support: Institut Français du Portugal, in partnership with the Institut Français in Paris, within the framework of the focus on contemporary French creation in 2017 

"A brushstroke of Kantor, an evocation of Calder and its burlesque touch makes Bêtes de Foire infinitely precious."
- Laura Plas, Les Trois Coups

Circus, puppetry, drama, dance and the silent films sensibility, with intelligence and talent. In a tiny circus tent where each object has its place, the two actors welcome us into their intimate world. 

Under a 11 meters diameter dome, the audience dives into the intimacy of a baroque circus, where magic appears in every moment. The small round stage, with their workshop and props - fabrics, hats and diverse objects - are visible in the background. Surrounded by a clique of fictional characters – a funambulist, a one-man band and a bunch of acrobats-, the puppeteers create the illusion of a proper circus show, relying on imagery as much as emotions... 

A wonderful and poetic journey full of humor will delight the audience from 8 to 108 years old! 

An apprentice dressmaker improvises through mime the eccentric behaviour of the artisans. She tears then reassembles, unwinds and rewinds the bobbin thread, attentive to each and every detail. Another character, a ragged, dishevelled man, acts the awkward post-modern clown with a weary expression. He juggles with hats that pile up, fly off or cling and fit together. He creates an unbridled ballet, a symbiosis of poetry and mechanism. With Bêtes de Foire you can look forward to a whole range of emotions invoked by the world of classical circus. You will see a sequence of astonishing numbers which will have you glued to your seat and will take your breath away..

“(...) A clown with tired eyes, for whom time does not pass, and who (...) manipulates banal objects of unsuspected qualities, and the seamstress of these puppets and automatons, who live with them in this circular space with a aesthetic full of charm, which reminds us of the fantastic world of the Hermanos Oligor or the Calder's Circus, sprinkled with a hint of Kantor's Zero Theatre. (...) Sometimes they seem to take us to the cartoon universe of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro in Delicatessen (...).
- Alexis Fernández, Blogue Titirimundi

“It's in this bric-a-brac of fabrics, ties, hats and old boots that the duo found a way to make a spectacle as impressive as it is fascinating, with fairground beasts, built at our sight, and a very lazy dog. Created by Elsa De Witte and Laurent Cabrol, both coming from the street and the circus, this small theatre of gestures is full of charm, invention and a sweet fantasy. To see in family (...).”
- Thierry Voisin, Télérama


Bêtes de Foire is the result of the meeting between Laurent Cabrol and Elsa De Witte.
Laurent Cabrol, a multi-talented circus artist, started around fifteen years ago learning juggling at Annie Fratellini's circus school and then at the school of Cirque Plume. In 1996 he received a medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain. He co-founded several companies: the circus Convoi Exceptionnel in 1997, the Trottola circus in 2001. He worked with various artists such as choreographer Raphaëlle Delaunay. In 2010, he joined the company Théâtre du Rugissant, as a puppeteer. For about twenty years, he has collaborated regularly with Cirque Romans.
Elsa De Witte has been an actress and costume designer since 1993 at Cie Babylone and Les Alama's Givres, and at other street theatre companies. In 2005 she integrated the show Le Bal des fous, of Les Chiffonnières and Théâtre du Rugissant, also as a puppeteer. Like Laurent Cabrol, she also participated in the show L'Oeil du Judas, du Théâtre du Rugissant, presented at FIMFA Lx12.
Bêtes de Foire reflects the image of this couple, crossing the arts and modes of expression: the theatre and the dance, the gesture and the sensibility of silent movies, puppetry and the circus, of course!