Paris Fringe: A Festival of International Theatre in English
The first edition of Paris Fringe, a festival of international theatre in English, takes place from Monday 23 May to Sunday 29 May 2016 in Paris, France.
The festival features both international work and France-based companies, and artists are travelling to Paris for the festival from Belgium, Canada, the UK and the USA. English is the main language for performances and other events.
The program includes dramatic plays, stand-up comedy, musicals, immersive theatre, improvisation and solo shows, representing a wide range of theatrical styles, with a focus on innovative approaches to theatre and an emphasis on contemporary themes. Shows are scheduled every evening throughout the festival week as well as afternoon performances over the weekend, with workshops and events open to the public.
The 16 following companies and their shows have been selected out of almost one hundred applications:
- New: “New Musical Comedy” (France/Germany) – Improvised musical comedy;
- Bruno Banon: “Luv” (France) – Absurdist and traditional Broadway comedy about friendship;
- Flabbergast: “Tatterdemalion” (UK) – One-man show featuring puppetry, physical comedy and mime;
- Petar Miloshevski: “AMOUR” (UK) – Post-dramatic solo theatre – poetic, tragic, physical and visual;
- Bric à Brac: “Ash” (UK) – Devised musical comedy on a life-long love affair with smoking;
- Leeds Studio: “9 Lives” (UK) – One-man show on the theme of being a refugee;
- Two Tongue: “Twisted and Tongue Tied” (France/UK) – Cabaret and dark comedy on gender equality;
- Comedy French Fried: “French Fried” (France/USA) – Stand-up comedy – multiple acts;
- Sarah Tullamore: “London - Paris - Roam!” (France/UK) – One-woman musical show;
- Oortocht: “iplay” (Belgium) – Interactive street performance with music;
- Broadway au Carré: “Seasons” (France/USA) – Prize-winning musical on the theme of love;
- Apuka Theatre: “Encore” (Canada/France) – Improvised, interactive site-specific drama;
- Peter Vickers: “Gonzo” (UK/France) – Dark comedy on friendship and betrayal;
- Jennifer Cole: “Quasar Blues” (International) – Re-enactment;
- Bremner Sings: "33 Kabaret" (USA) - One-man musical show;
- Mutinerie Collective: “Superdiscount” (France) – Bilingual, physical ensemble theatre exploring consumer society.
Paris Fringe is organised in partnership with the theatre Les Feux de la Rampe where many of the shows will be performed, and which will host a public Opening Ceremony on Monday, 23 May from 5pm to 6.30pm, staged by Eric Bouvron, who has been nominated for the Molières 2016 awards. This inaugural ceremony will provide a glimpse of the variety of companies that will be showcased during the week, with artists and acts taking the stage.
Paris Fringe takes place in traditional theatres and alternative venues in the 9th arrondissement in Paris. In addition to the main program, Starling Arts, a 50-strong choir from the UK, will sing in the streets of the 9th, spoken word artists will perform in a laundrette which include poet Victoria Cyr as well as an open mic hosted by Anna Polonyi, and the Althea Theatre from the UK will perform in a café. There will also be two theatre companies, Oorthocht from Belgium and Apuka from Canada, roaming the neighbourhood to surprise the public with impromptu improvised theatre.
Alongside the shows, audiences and theatre professionals will interact and exchange at open platform discussions on contemporary themes related to theatre, and at a series of workshops on improvisation, devising theatre, immersive theatre and musical theatre.
Paris Fringe is organized by a team of international theatre makers based in France, led by artistic directors Dom Douglas and Reka Polonyi. “Paris Fringe is a theatre festival about bringing people together,” notes Polonyi, “with artists coming from around the world, it is an occasion for a diverse group of local and international writers, directors, performers and choreographers to learn from each other and share new ways of working.”
The concept of Fringe, a globally recognised type of theatre festival, had its beginnings in Edinburgh in the late 1940s. Throughout the twentieth century, the format developed into a carnival of arts and performance before inspiring others around the world. “There are now fringe festivals in major cities such as New York, Sydney, Amsterdam and Prague,” says Douglas, “but Paris had yet to establish a festival of its own.”
Contributed by Paris Fringe