Le Cercle des Illusionistes

  • March 8, 2014
  • Parisian theatre
  • Theatre in Paris contributor

The Théâtre de la Pépinière, a stone's throw away from the Opera Garnier, has garnered a reputation for the quality of their productions over the years. Daring and determination define the program offered at this charming venue. Last Thursday was no exception. The theatre was packed and the sense of excitement was palpable. This is the latest play, written and directed by Alexis Michalik, one of France's most acclaimed contemporary playwrights and every local has been clamouring to see it.

The play is full of surprises, with Michalik adopting many of the artistic tricks he used in the play which made him famous, Le Porteur d’Histoire (2012). A mixture of French culture, history and theatre techniques, sprinkled with a bit of magic (literally) et voilà – Le Cercle des Illusionnistes (The Illusionists' Circle) is a fantastic play that has rhythm, dynamics, laughter, love, dreams, emotions, and the type of experience that you want to absorb and never forget.

If you add to that some brilliant acting - notably Vincent Joncquez, although in fact the whole cast is superb with each actor playing between four and eight characters each - and the fact that the story partly happens in the very same district where the Pépinière theatre is located, then you have THE perfect Parisian theatre evening.

The Illusionists' Circle

After a chance first meeting thanks to a photo found in a bag stolen in the metro, December recounts to April the story of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, a clock-maker, inventer and magician of the 19th century. The story leads both characters under a bank located on the Boulevard des Italiens, into the abandoned theatre of Robert-Houdin, up to a conjurer's caravant, behind the workshop of a Turkish mechanic, and all across the Illusionist's Circle.

Author: Alexis Michalik
Actors: Jeanne Arènes, Maud Baecker, Michel Deville, Arnaud Dupont, Vincent Joncquez, Mathieu Métral
Director: Alexis Michalik
Dates: Since January 22nd, 2014
Venue: La Pépinière théâtre, Paris - Opéra

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