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Grand Magasin, completely nuts!

Humor. Theatre de la Cite International, Paris 14e. Until 30 October. By Marie Audran

So who are these three weirdoes? Lecturers, auctioneers, crazy hosts of The Home Shopping Network? Who cares? This guy and these two gals have us rolling in the aisles. And that’s only saying half of it. Grand Magasin – the nutty name this collective of burlesque performers have given themselves – perform their hilarious numbers for a little over an hour (almost too short) at the Théâtre de la Cité internationale. On stage, you have the choice, it’s a smorgasbord! This infernal trio tests out the strangest products, like the doubt emitter with three pedals which complete your sentences with “That’s what I understood”, “I’ll have to check”, “at least, I think so…” a machine whose only purpose is to “minimize your arguments”. Another revolutionary invention: the “absorbing rug” which doesn’t absorb stains, but sounds. The second you step on it, you’re mute! There is also the contradicting mic, our favourite, which says the opposite of what you say, or even the negative echo, which can be heard before the sound is even made! Grand Magasin sure can be zany! And, above all, incredibly funny. The show, called Les déplacements du problème was made with the help of l’Ircam (Institute for the Research and Coordination of Acoustics/Music). Among the essential questions asked by these actor-provocateurs is: am I understood when I speak? Have I really understood someone when I think I have? Gleefully, they use their new sonic toys to question logical incoherencies, as they say, sense and nonsense, the traps of communication, new technology, the recurring obstacles to listening and to comprehension. This could have made for a boring show that wasn’t much fun. But it’s fantastic and so clever, you’ll walk out smiling. It’s good show which, under the appearance being light-hearted and uniquely strange, has a lot to say about the lack of communication that pollutes our daily lives. See and hear this show immediately! A remedy for the blues whose only durable side effect leaving you in a good mood…

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Les déplacements du problème by Grand Magasin. By and with Pascale Murtin, Bettina Atala and François Hiffler. With the help of Manuel Coursin…[/one_half_last]