The Elephant in the dark

Creation 2008 | Audience from 6 years old | Length 60 mn | Factsheet | Video clip |

Show of shades, music and video for children from 6 years old and to every public, inspired by the Persian stories of the poet Rumi and by the stories of Nasreddin Hodja, emblematic figure of the Asia Minor in Far East, famous for its « subtle silly remarks »

The ambition of this show is to embark the young public on a « Trip » into the East, to the ground of humor, wisdom and ambience typical of the East. Nasreddin never travels without his donkey! His wrangles with his animal make him endorse all roles, from the sage to the idiot. From the meeting of silly remarks and paradoxes, emerge the first-rate revelations on human condition. A young boy from Istanbul, supporter of small jobs, settles questions on life, on knowledge and on men. These traditional stories are a way to answer him. They are told on Shadow Theater and introduced each time by short pictures filmed in Istanbul, inscribing them so in a context of modernity: the ferryman and the scholar. The lion and the scholars. Elephant in the dark. The casserole. The river. The stolen donkey. The ten donkeys. The bet. Nasreddin, his son and his donkey. The structure of this show is based on a repetitive regular schema, (projection – debate – story – intermezzo), which regulates the scenario.

The big screen (6m x 4m) in the middle of the stage is the place where the tale is told and the support to reflect shades (big concealed bodily silhouettes, puppets, decors, light and color tricks). Some video sequences locate meetings and debates of the young person and the adult in an actual ambience.

Music and interpreters Three actresses play the part of the shades and manipulations: In an ambience of music saloon located in front of the screen, two musicians, Turkish and Serbian, Mahmut Demir and Jaşko Ramic accompany the show. During the stories, they regulate shades and dialogues, create sound effects, in intermezzos they develop a musical game. They play oriental traditional instruments, saz, kémanché, accordion, davul, bendir which they introduce to the children at the end of show. The show can receive a public of 400 children. Created at the beginning of 2008 in the Paris area, the show then embarked on a tour in France to perform about 80 presentations.

Director: Sylvie Vallery-Masson ••• Shadows and handling: Colette Blanchet, Françoise Rouillon et Sylvie Vallery-Masson ••• Original music: Mahmut Demir, Jaşko Ramic ••• Scenary: Florence de Andia assistée de Nadia Gaborit ••• Stage manager: Pascal Messer ••• Graphic design: Marz & Chew ••• Production: Théâtre de l’Ombrelle ••• Joint production: OMMASEC-Le Colombier (Magnanville), Centre Culturel Jacques Prévert (Villeparisis), Théâtre Berthelot (Montreuil), Les Lilas en scène (Les Lilas), Bassot & Associés ••• With the support of Conseil général des Yvelines, Adami and Spedidam.