A Hole in the City (“Un Hueco en la Ciudad”), by Compagnie Dérézo
Pause the frenetic pace of the city; for a moment, create a joyful parenthesis and invite passers-by to share an unexpected show: this is the idea behind A Hole in the City.
Compagnie Dérézo was created in 1996 in Brittany by students from the Lyon National School of Theatre Arts and Techniques. In 2000, the City of Brest allowed them to set up shop in an old chapel, which became the "Chapelle Dérézo". The company now includes around 10 performers, led by Charlie Windelschmidt. In the spirit of cooperation, the troupe makes La Chapelle Dérézo available to other artists and collaborates with professionals from various performance backgrounds.
Their creations combine theatre, dance and circus and reject the traditional stage, favouring an outdoor stage for Kabarê Solex (2013), a travelling kitchen counter for Breakfast (“Le Petit-Déjeuner”) (2016) or the street for A Hole in the City (2017).
A poetic pause
More than a show, A Hole in the City is an experience. The actors, equipped with wireless microphones, blend into the crowd as they perform sketches. The audience, caught up in the improvisation, watches the show with headphones on to hear the dialogue accompanied by music.
Other passers-by need only stop and take the time to observe to understand that a show is taking place before their eyes.
With A Hole in the City, Compagnie Dérézo is trying to open up a poetic parenthesis within the urban space. In the midst of the constant flow of anonymous passers-by, the actors offer a friendly, communal break.
"A hole in the city"
A Hole in the City is the culmination of a project which began in 2009. During a residency at the University of Western Brittany, the troupe started to work on Glass Theatre Théâtre vitré, which triggered the idea on which A Hole in the City would be based: behind windows, the public observed sketches performed on the street by actors dressed as council workers.
The first experiments took place that same year as part of the International Festival for the Creation of Street Theatre in Morlaix.
A Franco-Colombian project
A Hole in the City is the fruit of a Franco-Colombian collaboration. Under the leadership of Victor Viviesca, a playwright and director based in Bogotá, six Colombian authors wrote the texts of the short scenes performed on the street by the 19 performers – 9 young Colombians, 7 French students from the Dramatology School of the Théâtre national de Bretagne studying under Charlie Windelschmidt and 3 professional French actors.
A Hole in the City was first performed in Colombia, in the cities of Barranquilla, Medellìn and Bogotà, before embarking on a French tour in 2017. The show was notably performed in Brest as well as during the Nuit Blanche in Paris and the Bordeaux International Arts Festival in October.
The Franco-Colombian creation, A Hole in the City (“Un Hueco en la Ciudad”) was supported by the Institut français as part of the 2017 France-Colombia Year and in partnership with the Brittany region.
The France-Colombia Year was organised and implemented by the Institut français, the Colombian Ministry of Culture, and the embassies of both countries.
The Institut français partners with 21 local authorities to develop international artistic exchanges.