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September 9, 2015 Comments Off on Philippe Quesne’s New Work At On The Boards: French Butt Rock Meets Disneyland? Views: 2296 Arts, Arts & Entertainment, Stage

Philippe Quesne’s New Work At On The Boards: French Butt Rock Meets Disneyland?


The autumn theater season kicks off Thursday night with the opening of a wintery tale…from France.

Visual/theater artist Philippe Quesne is the founder of Vivarium Studio, a theater lab for innovative collaborative theater creation. His 2008 piece La Mélancolie des dragons aka “The Melancholy of Dragons”takes place in a winter wonderland in the middle of a forest as 6 heavy metal/butt rock fans find themselves stranded and end up creating their own version of a theme park. Ironically, British mystery artist Banksy recently has done pretty much the same thing, except it’s not snowy and mysterious but bleak and barren…his “Dismaland” is a dreary take on a similar theme while Quesne’s work, despite the implied sadness of its title, offers a bit more…hope.

Naturally, this international treat is being staged at Seattle’s home of such artistic fare, ON THE BOARDS, and it opens Thursday, September 10 for a four day run, (Thurs through Sat at 8pm; Sunday at 5pm). You can still grab tickets HERE. There will be a post show Q&A with Philippe Quesne and Eric Fredericksen on Friday and the Saturday post show will future music in the OtB lobby with Kyle Hanson on accordion and Greg Campbell on drums.


From the OtB website:

Stranded in the middle of a snowy forest, six heavy metal music fans build a DIY version of a Disney theme park as a stand against cheap consumerism. A cheerfully surreal tableau slowly emerges with the help of butt-rock, medieval recorders, and a busted Citroën.

An international audience favorite, this three-dimensional poem is full of visual wonder, joy and melancholy, and a sincere delight in human existence. You’ll never hear the Scorpions the same way again.

Originally a visual artist, Philippe Quesne studied visual arts and graphic design at L’École Estienne and set design at L’École des Arts Décoratifs de Paris. In 2003 he founded Vivarium Studio, a laboratory for theatrical innovation which features painters, actors, dancers, musicians and animals. His work has been staged all over the world, from Avignon to Tokyo. Quesne is currently artistic director of the Nanterre-Amandiers Theatre in Paris and was last seen at OtB with the profound and stunning L’Éffet de Serge.

Despite some disdain for “butt rock”, I’m thrilled to see this show. Who doesn’t enjoy a little snowfall in September?

Though we wish the show involved 6 David Bowie fans stuck in the forest…

For Frenchie speakers/readers (or, those with Google Translator) here’s an interview with M. Quesne, in Franch.

Check out this trailer:

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