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Wet Picnic on the Bridge : event review

jeudi 17 octobre 2013, par Anne Deletoille.

Toutes les versions de cet article : [English] [français]

Wet Picnic have had the pleasure of spending another week-long residency at Le Fourneau this September 2013. It has once again been a phenomenal experience, bringing French and English artists together always results in an exciting collaboration and this cross-cultural work must continue. We spent the week free to use the facilities and the space to create performances for Picnic on the Bridge.

With six actors and myself we devised three pieces that would be featured throughout the day following the story of the creation of a new territory, Franglaterre. The work was always focused on the spirit of celebration, light and playful since throughout the day’s events a lot of our performances that we programmed would touch on deeper matters. Wet Picnic’s role was to provide a link, to connect people during the day and to share a story. One of our actors is from Bretagne, and together we found a story of the Johnny’s who would sell pink onions to the English on their bicycles. It was an important link between the French and the English, something of sharing that we wanted to bring to the public. We worked through improvisation and created characters that would be able to connect to an audience of over 2500. The work was an introduction for many to performing in the street, something that is much more welcomed in France than in England, and so it was exciting for us to be able to perform to a French audience.

The 5 french volunteers

During the last two days of our residency we spent time with some volunteers from the Brest and Bretagne region. Each volunteer gave so much to our project as it created a context and a link between ourselves as a foreign company and the place and people to which we are connecting to : the people of Brest. We spent the two days in rehearsal, using improvisation as our way into finding out what characters the volunteers could play. We created relationships between our company and the volunteers, which were then used throughout the Picnic. Working with the volunteers gave our performance so much more weight, as it was necessary to have a large chorus for a performance for over 2500 people.

Wet Picnic’s relationship has grown over the past few years to really make a massive impact on our development as a company and artistry. We really cherish the work that we do with Le Fourneau and are incredible grateful for the opportunity to come to France and work in a creation space with some fantastic people. We hope that this is part of a longer journey that we are taking with Le Fourneau and look forwards to coming back to work with them in the future.
Matt Feerick

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