The Fantastick is a team of incredible people: Malika Chauveau, Anouk Viale, Mathieu Maurice and Valentin Bodier. With me, they accept the challenge. The fantastic 5.
The Fantasticks is a unique musical. Its longevity, but above all its shape.
“Everything we loved about the theater, we put it in The Fantasticks” Tom Jones.
It's a huge mix of genres, done with the means at hand. Poor theater, Globe theater, Strehler, all the influences of extreme theatricality are invited in The Fantasticks.
A mixture of musical references too: Bernstein of course, Rodgers and Hammerstein, or in dance the influence of Jerome Robbins, or Ziegfeld Follies.
Uniqueness through multiplicity: Musical writing for Harp and Piano, an unprecedented color for the musical.
To mount it today supposes to use these influences and to add to the references those which are contemporary to us: references to cinema, video games, social networks, advertising ...
And to adapt the "means at hand" of the time to create a poor theater of today: of course on a stage, some props specific to the theater, but also the image, the video, the written text, the hashtag, iPhone, make our contemporary poor theater.
The play, light and funny is constantly on the thread. We make fun of these passionate and adventurous lovers, but we are moved by their feelings, we are touched by the truth of their excessiveness. To do this, it was necessary to succeed in making theatrical strength, the poetry of feeling and the magic of the musical of their passion.
Three levels of reading have emerged which will coexist in our Marigny version Fantasticks:
theater within theater: creating everything with nothing. The role of the silent, written in the work, will be the theater itself, not only by interpreting the wall and other elements of the decor, but also by generating the different spaces with the elements available, and by giving them a identity by sound. Like a radio play, the mute-noise maker will take us on a journey through space and time, in the garden, the storm, the city traffic jams. By a microphone and two or three special effects. He will offer us the childhood magic of seeing things appear in front of us.
A key first sentence of the show brought us to a central element in the scenography: "without a hurt the heart is hollow". The fragility of youth, the need to have lived through certain wounds, the thirst for adventure which leads to failures. This blank page of our two teenagers that they will have to write, tear up, crumple, throw away, rewrite. This inspired us with a paper scenography, fragile and poetic but also funny by all the variations that we can make of it. A bird passes in the garden? origami. Happy Ending from Act I? A celebration banner. Both poor and magical when worked with precision, the paper also offers us a metaphor: literally letting our heroes make “the dumplings” of their youth. A danger arises with the idea of an "all in paper": the risk of the end of year fair. It is compensated by a high level cast, an irreproachable musical quality, a sincere playing in an excessive theatricality. And by the video:
the third key element of this production comes from this wall, which separates the two gardens of our heroes. “You must always leave the wall” is the conclusion of the show. Yes, so that desire, love, passion, imagination, theater, is still the engine of our lives, even after our passionate youth, we must always leave the wall. The wall of the forbidden, of the fantasy, of the staging of our life. We wanted to make this through video. All the dreams and fantasies of the characters, what they imagine, feel, will be expressed through the video. The “Facebook” wall of their dreams will come alive and offer us the fantastic backdrop for surreal scenes, and the surprise, the Wow effect necessary for the musical.