The Bloody Doll at Huchette Theatre

A musical, for a change.

Even though one goes to the theatre every night and has been a columnist for years, it’s always worth taking a risk. This is when the Cultural Animal comes to play.

So here I am inside the Huchette Theatre (those who’ve been following me for a while will understand), determined to check out this Bloody DollIt’s a musical adapted from Gaston Leroux’s 1923 novel, The Bloody Doll, released more than a decade after his uber-famous 1910 Phantom of the Opera.

The challenge isn’t small. A micro-set, 3 actors, 1 piano player to bring no less than 15 characters and an entire ambiance to life. Wow.

And it’s divine. The actors are on top of their game -drama and singing. It’s incredibly creative, curated, hilarious and not scary at all. Costumes are perfect. Didier Bailly is at home. He’s been acting in Ionesco’s Bold Soprano at La Huchette since 1985. As for Eric Chantelauze who co-signs the show, he’s written more than a few musicals. Et voilà.

This is probably THE musical of the year. If you understand French or are willing to put up with 1 hour 25 minutes of French and uncomfortable seats, it’s worth the while.

Illustration © Araso

The Bloody Doll, the musical,
Théâtre de la Huchette
75005 PARIS
M. Saint-Michel
Tel: +331 43 26 38 99

Backstage at Opera Garnier

The day I made peace with academic dance thanks to William Forsythe

I am not a fan of classical ballet. I had not been to the Opera since Maguy Marin in April. At the beginning of the season I had nonetheless interviewed Dorothée Gilbert, an absolute darling. I finally went to see the William Forsythe everyone is talking about.

Of Any If And puts me to sleep. Snobbish, narrow unfruitful words appear back-to-back on moveable borads: « Body of texture rare all in nothing ». Even with Léonore Baulac and Adrien Couvez it’s deadly.

Approximate Sonata swipes me off my feet. Bombastic Alice Renavand turns up in a black leotard justaucorps teasing Adrien Couvez. Marie-Agnès Gillot comes up dancing like a goddess with her long limbs.

It is with Blake Works I, a creation by William Forsythe on James Blake’s music that the shock happens. Beauty alert, chills. It’s sensual, sexy as hell, with voguing and hip-hop-like freestyle. And (astonishingly) the dancers are having fun !

Those last 25 minutes have changed my view on academic ballet forever. Would it be only for this it’d still be worth the while.


William Forsythe, ballet, 2h
At Opéra Garnier Until July 16th
Available seats online start at 25 euros on the day

Images © Reserved

Emilie Incerti Formentini dans Rendez-vous Gare de l'Est

Our heart beats for this Rendez-vous Gare de l'Est

A girl, a chair, and let the show begin. Rendez-vous gare de l’Est is a monologue written and staged by French playwright Guillaume Vincent. Outstanding actress Emilie Incerti Formentini has been playing this bipolar lady since 2012, when the show premiered at Comédie de Reims.

It’s all in the acting. This life hoping from one internment at Saint-Anne, (Paris’ renowned psychiatric hospital) to the next, the handfuls of lithium, the husband, the (literally) crazy love, the eleven square metres flat with its bathroom in the corridor.

Emily has both a sharp sens of humour and a tenacious morale. The problem with crazy people is they have those moments of rare intelligence, of supreme lucidity which makes them fascinating.

We just love this girl for walking us through a short hour of intelligence, delicacy and joy.

Rendez-vous gare de l’Est, au Théâtre du Rond-Point

Du 31 Mai au 26 Juin

Illustration © Araso