La République du Centre

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La République du Centre ; January 19, 2005

Grand Magasin: a playful, clever and surprising « Forum »

• The play, presented last night at the Carré Saint-Vincent, runs through Saturday

To let oneself be caught out! To get mixed up in comical and quirky situations. The Grand Magasin performers presented their latest creation last night in Orléans: the enigmatic « 5ème Forum international du cinéma d’entreprise » (« 5th international Forum of corporate cinema »). On the set: an electric orange chair, a blue bag, two organs, a green plant made of plastic… then the five actor “participants” burst onto the scene and start to criss-cross – there’s Bettina Atala, François Hiffler, Pascale Murtin (who are also the show’s writers), along with Christophe Salengro (well-known as ‘Groland’ on Canal Plus), Etienne Charry and Manuel Coursin.

They throw out endless phrases, in a very straightforward manner. Phrases such as, “Either I sit down, or I walk around this chair”, “Either I stay here, or I…”. A succession of skits follows: the process of compressing time, the sign of reliability, thought-swapping, heads or tails. The group questions, dissects our actions, our choices – all of it punctuated by choreographed movements and off-beat little ditties. Despite a few parts that drag on, the audience in the Vitez theater very quickly warms to the performance and laughs heartily. The evening is a veritable theatrical investigation – at once inventive, funny and remarkable. Not your everyday event. Astonishing!
Claire Damon

(Photo caption: “Ingenious play: the “5th international Forum of corporate cinema”)[/one_half_last]