Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Theatre Re Q&A

interviews Guillaume Pige who is back at the Fringe with Theatre Re for the fourth time to showcase their latest success, a surreal mime performance inspired by a mysterious Magritte painting

 Francois Verbeek 7

Image: Francois Verbeek

What are you most looking forward to at the Fringe?

We are really looking forward to performing the show 25 times in a row.  It will be our longest run so far and it gives us the opportunity to really settle into it and own it. Strangely enough, it also gives us the confidence to try out things and be bold with what we have made and keep re-inventing and discovering the work.

How inspirational were René Magritte’s paintings? How did they inspire Blind Man’s Song?

It was one particular painting by Magritte entitled “The Lovers” that really inspired us and the mystery that comes with it: why do the lovers, during the act of kissing, have their faces veiled?

Some suggested: because they are concealing something about themselves and it was the start of the most extravagant opinions on what it was that they were hiding from our view.

But could we not imagine that the presence of the veil is there to lead the observer to a completely different world, a world above reality for instance (after all “The Lovers” is a surrealistic painting).

In that world why could we not ask, what is the veil revealing rather than concealing?

What is it revealing about the lovers; they have no face, no eyes, no nose, no ears not even a mouth and yet they are kissing. What does it say about that kiss?

And that is how we started: with a mask (the veil) and a mystery.

What aspect of Beckett’s work have you most tried to capture in Blind Man’s Song?

We were very inspired by the atmosphere that surrounds Beckett’s work. We wanted to re-create a sort of dead-end world feeling. We kept coming back to pieces like “End Game” (and especially the character of Hamm, who heavily inspired our character of the blind man), Rockaby and Eh Joe.

Why do you think Blind Man’s Song has been so much of a success?

We don’t think that we will ever know the exact answer to this one but Blind Man’s Song seems to trigger a wide range of different emotions, ideas and even memories in people who come to see it.

It is a theatre piece but, at the same time, it is a concert, a performance, a dance and a mime show. We use everything from magic illusions to sound design to tell our story and blur the boundaries between art forms.  That might be what makes it very appealing.

What would you say is the most significant part of Blind Man’s Song?

It is an interesting question because everyone in the team has a different favourite moment in the show and also it seems to vary from one performance to the next. But if we had to pick the most significant one we would probably choose a moment that we call the “Kissing Scene”. After all the whole project was inspired by a kiss and the fact that most people close their eyes when they kiss.

What does the future hold for Theatre Re?

We will touring Blind Man’s Song in the Spring and Autumn 2016. We will also be revisiting and touring The Gambler (the show that we took to Ed Fringe in 2012).  And we are starting a new project at the end of September, so it is all very exciting.

Blind Man’s Song will be performed at the Pleasance Dome from 6th- 30th of August at 3.30 pm.



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