Sunday, 31 August 2008

16 August Spectacle historique

16 Aug 2008 Saturday - The big Spectacle

No sign of Madame to finalise Monday’s arrangements.

Tonight we went to the final performance of this year's annual Spectacle. The theme was historique, and the storyline was of an English scientist who has a time machine, who takes a teenage girl and her younger brother with him as he journeys to various times in the history of the local area. Nowadays you would call it kidnapping.
Next year there will be another spectacle and it may well be historique again so I will not spoil the plot should any readers decide to attend.

The theatre is a bit of a trek from the house, taking about 7 minutes on foot and is an open air affair with "amazing" high seats. Basically terraced seating on one side of a rectangular arena. A small scenery village is to our left end with the medieval castle (real) towering above it on the hillside. The rest of the space is open plan, with what looks like a freshly raked mixture of sand or gravel on the playing surface.

The photo at the top is what it looked like at 9pm as we waited for the performance to begin.

There was a cast of over 200 locals, farm animals such as cows, geese, donkeys, cart horses, horse horses. there were peasants, small girls in fairy outfits who came out into the arena from time to time to perform synchronised dancing which included rolling about on the ground. They must have given all the animals something to stop them crapping and peeing. You would not catch me rolling about on it.

The castle was used to project images relevant to the period in history being portrayed. Giant swasticas for example during the tale about the village that got wiped out by the Germans at the end of the war.

Here is a shot of some of the cast. The peasants are perhaps out of shot on the left. Three times there were firework displays set off from the castle.

There was also a variety of styles of music, from classical, to a Greek dance. I have no idea why the Greek dance was appropriate.

A special guest was an opera singer from America, who was headlining the bill. She has sold millions of CDs. She ended the show riding a horse while singing.
There were stunt riders who got dragged along the floor behind their horses. At one point the "dead" bodies of the children and peasants lay in the middle of the arena, while their victorious killers rode round and round them within a foot or so.
This show would never get off the ground in the UK due to health and safety.
In short two hours of non-stop entertainment from 10pm to midnight. So well done to everyone who risked their lives to take part.
Here is a video. I don't know if they will work, but here goes anyway. It will only stay on for a couple of weeks as the storage space on the blog is fairly small.

At the end of the performance, the cast, minus the animals, lined both sides of the exit path clapping along to the music. Well there were a lot of them

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