The Ventriloquists Convention
A gathering of ventriloquists
Ventriloquists and their dummies give us an ambiguous feeling. Just watch films like The Great Gabbo by James Cruze, The Unholy Three by Tod Browning or Magic by Richard Attenborough. Gisèle Vienne enjoys taking advantage of this feeling. It is impossible to categorise her work. As a choreographer, stage designer, artist and puppeteer she conjures up fascinating dream worlds where words are hardly spoken, or not at all.
In this new production however, there is a lot of talking – but it is not so clear by whom. Vienne stages a fictional reconstruction of the largest annual gathering of ventriloquists in Kentucky. You can hear conversations between the dummies and between their ventriloquists. A disembodied voice joins in the discussions. A suspicion of the outside world plays a central role here. A polyphony of around 30 voices, performed by nine puppeteers and their dummies, draws you into a tangle of complex psychologies.
• The Franco-Austrian Gisèle Vienne has regularly worked with the American author Dennis Cooper since 2004. She was previously seen in the Kaaitheater with This is how you will disappear (2012) and The Pyre (2013).
#toughtheatre #tableauvivant #international
concept, direction and scenography Gisèle Vienne | text Dennis Cooper, in collaboration with the performers | music KTL (Stephen O’Malley, Peter Rehberg) | light Patrick Riou | performed and created in collaboration with Jonathan Capdevielle, Kerstin Daley-Baradel, Uta Gebert & Vincent Göhre and the performers of Puppentheater Halle: Nils Dreschke, Sebastian Fortak, Lars Frank, Ines Heinrich-Frank, Katharina Kummer | accessories, scenography and costumes Gisèle Vienne, in collaboration with Angela Baumgart | stage and scenography assistant Yana Zschiedrich| stage assistant on tour Anne Mousselet | puppets conception Gisèle Vienne | puppets making Hagen Tilp | make up and wigs for Jonathan Capdevielle Mélanie Gerbeaux | Kerstin Daley-Baradel’s costume designed by José Enrique Oña Selfa | ventriloquy workshops Marcus Geuss, Michel Déjeneffe | technical manager Henryk Drewnlok | light Manager Arnaud Lavisse | thanks to Laure Fernandez, Carena Schlewitt, Vent Haven Museum, Vent Haven Convention, Francesca Spinazzi, Zac Farley, Jean-Paul Vienne, Dorothéa Vienne-Pollak | production Puppentheater Halle, DACM (Halle / Saale & Strasbourg) | coproduction Nanterre-Amandiers – centre dramatique national | Festival d’Automne à Paris | Les Spectacles Vivants - Centre Pompidou | Centre Dramatique National Orléans/Loiret/Centre | Le TJP, Centre Dramatique National d’Alsace - Strasbourg | Le Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg - Scène européenne | La Bâtie, Festival de Genève | Internationales Sommerfestival, Kampnagel, Hamburg | Kaserne Basel | Le Parvis, Scène nationale de Tarbes - Pyrénées | Theater Freiburg | Bonlieu, Scène nationale d’Annecy | hTh CDN de Montpellier | Fidena Festival - Bochum | with the support of Kulturstiftung des Bundes | Pro Halle e.V. | Saalesparkasse | FachausschussTanz und Theater Basel - Stadt / Basel – Landschaft | Institut Français in the frame of « Théâtre export » | Bureau Théâtre et Danse - Institut Français d'Allemagne & Association Beaumarchais-SACD Paris in the frame of the help program in production | Cultural Services of the French Embassy New-York. The company is supported by le Ministère de la culture et de la communication – DRAC Alsace, la Région Alsace and la Ville de Strasbourg.
The company is supported by Institut Français for international touring. Gisèle Vienne is associate artist at the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers from 2014 and at Parvis, Scène national de Tarbes-Pyrénées since 2012.