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Lunapark - Theatre Laboratoire Vicinal - 12th Jan 1973 | Archive
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Lunapark - Theatre Laboratoire Vicinal - 12th Jan 1973

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Lunapark by the Belgian Group 'Theatre Laboratoire Vicinal' was performed at the Mountford Theatre in the Liverpool University's Students Union.  

The following is the description by Neil Johnson from 7UP:-

"THEY came pedaling in and they go pedaling out – twice.’ Lunapark was co-operatively created by the Theatre Laboratoire Vicinal and presented at the University of Liverpool’s Mountford Hall.

The performers in bathing costumes and strapped with bells, cymbals and drums, drove through the encircling audience of 200 and then wordlessly dismantled their car and used the pieces with the precision of gymnasts in their imaginative ‘circus’.

 This one hour ‘circus’ was then repeated to make a two hour performance. The interest for the audience, second time round, lay in the moral and physical challenge facing the performers as they set out to repeat a taxing and athletic performance, and also in picking up things they hadn’t noticed first time round." 

We have listed this under Physical Theatre but perhaps today they would come under 'New Circus' - a term which did not really exist in 1973.  And as can be seen from the directors  own comments (below) on their work they firmly see themselves as a theatre company.  

The Directors comments own comments :-

"A 'Lunapark' is a permanent fair. During the play the audience may come and go as they please. The show will be played twice without interruption thus turning our backs on theatre as it is known with its emotional development leading to denouement - the residue of classical culture.

There is no text, that is to say no articulated and comprehensible language; there remains only a visceral language stemming from the gesture. We have tried to respond more justly to the inexpressible with vocal and instrumental music. Thus this work grew without the intervention of an author. The actors and myself wished to operate in a closed vessel, without any outer interference. 

As we worked on the show,  there was never any question of a predetermined meaning. The meaning is in the impact of colliding organic forces, in rhythmic metaphors, in the pure theatrical essence and the exterior aspect of its movement. The mixture of beings and objects is significant in their shock or fusion and every liberty has been taken in order to find a new creativity expressing constant transformation.

The position of the actor is altered completely.  The actor no longer interprets, but lets his creation explode and then organises it. The director becomes  a sort of catalyst; he gathers together the energies of a group and offers a general articulation.  This research is neither formal nor aesthetic since it aims to change man, it contains enough subversive imagination not to become conformist. The new rhythms imposed by the research are directly bound to our most elemental behaviour. We expect the audience to engage themselves in an experience along with us and not to satisfy themselves with a superficial reading. "  

Lunapark was  directed by Frederic Flamand but is described as a collective creation. It was performed by Baba, Jean de la Fontaine, Rafael Godinho, Anne West and Martine Godat.

Theatre Laboratoire Vicinal's Artistic Director is Frederic Baal.   Below is a text about their work as provided by TLV.

This was a joint promotion by the Blackie and Liverpool University's Drama Society.  It was part of 'Fanfare for Europe' and paid for by North West Arts Association who provided £83 of the £103 cost.

 

TO WORK FROM NOTHING: NOT TO DECIPHER

 Of the views that follow, some led to the creation of the Theatre Laboratoire Vicinal, others evolved out of stage experience, and still others invite investigations yet partially unrealised. They are not intended as cookbook recipes, and even less as a method or doctrine.

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