Monday, 28 May 2012
Like the good old days
Two theatre festivals in one weekend: Saperlipopette a festival of children's theatre at Sortie Ouest and Foire des Grenouilles, a festival of street theatre and popular theatre in St.Geniès-de-Fontedit. OK, so where do I start telling you about all the RTBCs to be had over a weekend of theatre? Actually the best thing about Saperlipopette was the array of old wooden games under the leafy alley outside the theatre. You want to see? Oh here you go then.
So simple, so enjoyable, so sociable. Why do we not have these games any more? I also went to see Le Petit Poucet with Matilda. It was a piece of theatre designed to showcase sign language, which is fine, but rather lost on small people. I'm not sure Matilda would even understand the concept of deafness. And Le Petit Poucet is one of the more horrific of Charles Perrault's tales. I'm all for a bit of horror, after all fairy tales allow children to come to terms with the fact that bad things happen and help them deal with fear. But I find Le Petit Poucet grim even by Grimm standards.
The Foire des Grenouilles, theatrically speaking, was much better. I love popular street theatre. Everyone piles in, there's no hierarchy; performance feels unpredictable and alive. In a rare "what about me?" moment I ditched the minibeasts and took myself off to a show for grown-ups. I felt vague pangs of guilt, but then realised that was ridiculous and that "what about me?" moments should be far less rare. Hooray for epiphanies. Afterwards I met up with Fanf and the minibeasts to see a beautiful puppet version of The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway and a circus in the trees.
At the end of the day, Fanf and I hightailed it, leaving the minibeasts to spend the night with the grandspoilers. Ostensibly because I had a 40-page translation to work on today for Les Amis de la Terre (work - money - yay). But to round off the weekend in style we popped down to our friendly Irish pub for a pint and this:
Oh I could wax lyrical for hours, days, about the joys of whiskey (in this instance, Lagavulin). The warmth as it flows through you, the sense of comfort and well-being. It's elemental. But lucky for you, I have a translation to finish about palm oil plantations and land disputes in Liberia, which is doing a good job of keeping things firmly in perspective.