"Evocation embodies the spirit of the Fringe. It is unashamedly dark and bleak but also unique and wonderful to experience. With some shows it is getting in that is the difficult part, hustling and bustling past other eager ticket holders. Not here. The difficulty here is in leaving it behind."
Set deep in the Vosges mountain forest of 1950's Alsace, a small rural community comes to terms with its dark years under Nazi annexation, its recent liberation, and the turmoil of the ensuing French National War Tribunals. Clinging to the peasant folklore that has kept the fabric of their community together, the villagers are unsettled when a Commissaire arrives from Paris to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a young resistance fighter, and the unity of the village slowly begins to unravel.
Set in Southern France, CONSOLATION is about the relationship between a young French re-enactor, who plays a Cathar knight in a Visitor's Centre, and a middle-aged Englishwoman who believes she has experienced a past life as a Cathar heretic in thirteenth century Languedoc.
Featuring a stunning multi-media design by award-winning young Latvian designer Rūta Irbīte, and thrilling stage combat by Dan Styles, CONSOLATION is a witty, disturbing, and ultimately life-affirming journey in to lost worlds, pseudo-history, and the search for belonging - with a very contemporary twist in its tale!
What the critics have said about 'Consolation'....
There’s so much that’s brilliant about this play that it’s difficult to fit it all in to one review
***** Views from the Gods
This is no consolation prize to a West End ticket, this is another exceptional piece of work from Théâtre Volière. Gorgeous, life-affirming and a linguistic treasure
***** Female Arts
Nothing like anything you're likely to see on the fringe or the West End
***** Audience Club
Intelligent, compelling, thought provoking and gripping... the best play I saw this year!
***** Thrifty Theatre
Mick Wood's script is brilliant
***** West End Wilma
This lovely two-hander has so many things going for it that it’s almost impossible to know where to start
***** Carns Theatre Passion
Consolation....will grab your attention right from the start and not let it go
Susan Elkin, The Stage
I was lucky to catch Theatre Voliere’s Consolation by Mick Wood...a fine two-hander which deserves more outings in the future
Wistful, dramatic, witty and moving
Un voyage fascinant
Dance Theatre inspired by, and featuring original song settings of, the French poems of Albert Giraud. An English country house circa 1890; a French governess shares her passion for the poetry of Pierrot Lunaire with her young charge but, isolated and homesick, she finds herself increasingly haunted by the enigmatic figure of Pierrot.
What the critics have said about Pierrot Lunaire.....
★★★★☆ Ici Londres
Théâtre Volière is masterful at fusing mime, dance and song'
'Vulnerability seems to possess L’Ebrellec in every graceful movement and every desperate song'
'Beautifully atmospheric' 'Stunning choreography'
★★★★☆ Views from the Gods
'Part poetry, part dance, Théâtre Volière's 'Pierrot Lunaire' is a quintessentially French piece of theatre.
'Deeply intelligent' 'A stunning piece of theatre'
1900. Two boys, one French and a would-be poète maudit, the other English and dreaming of glory, find themselves sharing an Alsatian governess with a tragic secret. Part allegory on the cultural background to WWI, part ghost story in the vein of The Turn of the Screw, Poilu and Tommy follows the boys from the seemingly bucolic country house of their childhood to a cellar in no-man’s land, where they unexpectedly meet as young men caught up in the battle of the Somme.
Poilu and Tommy is a new play by Mick Wood and Anglo-French company Théâtre Volière that includes the poetry of figures as diverse as Hugo, Rimbaud, Kipling, Houseman, Brooke, Péguy, Masefield and Giraud, and comes with comprehensive new translations of all the featured French poetry.
"In 2014, we are about to embark on what promises to be a massive journey. We have no real sense of how a centenary which will last for over four years will play out. But if it is not to become repetitive and even boring, we must be prepared to challenge our own preconceptions and to engage in open-minded debate with others. If we don't do that, we shall fail to seize the opportunity to learn not only about this conflict but also about the challenges which war poses every generation."
Professor Sir Hew Strachan (Government Centenary Advisory Board)
Ledbury Poetry Festival - commissioned, premiered (2013)
Courtyard Theatre, London - 3 week run (2014)
Off West End Award nomination for 'Best Production' (2014).
What the critics have said about 'Poilu and Tommy'...
*****Views from the Gods
"It's a period piece, but with real meat behind the story"
"An intelligent but genuinely accessible play"
"Packed full of charm and humour"
"A truly faultless production that deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. One of the best pieces on the fringe circuit in quite some time. Vive la différence!"
****The Public Reviews
"A bittersweet tale of friendship, secrets, war, politics and poetry"
"Original, thought provoking and stylish"
"Faultless ensemble performances"
West End Wilma
"Boldly seizes the emotions and concerns of the post-fin de siècle household and thrusts them onto the battlefield"
"Paints a vivid picture of sociopolitical uncertainty"
"Mixing moments of light-hearted jocularity with great ravines of melancholy"
"Mesmerising, a delight to watch"
"Union gracieuse de guerre et de poésie"
"Le contexte historique et culturel est particulièrement riche - et exploité à sa juste mesure"
"On salue les performances des acteurs"
"En cette période historique du cententaire de la Première Guerre, Poilu and Tommy nous touche"
Le Petit Journal
"La mise en scène de Natasha Wood embrasse le poétique de l'Histoire avec brio."
"Les acteurs nous émeuvent par la justesse de leurs jeux."
Joe and Tom have been evacuated to their Aunt’s house in East Anglia during the Second World War. One night, they dare each other to visit an old abandoned house out on the marshes and find themselves inadvertently stumbling into a war-time mystery whose tragic repercussions will haunt Joe into his old age…
A piece of dance theatre produced in collaboration with the Conservatoire de Strasbourg and l'espace Malraux, Geispolsheim, ‘The Turkey Carpet’ is performed in both English and French, to live music by Benjamin Britten.
The Cockpit Theatre, London (Francophone Festival)
Nineteen-forties Paris. French poet Jacques Prévert is showing us around one of his old haunts. ‘So, how’s this going to work? Let’s say I’m in a café, with three angels - Despair, Authority, and Time. Think of it as an illustrated poetry reading. I’m going to give you the biographical bits, and my friends here are going to give you the poetry. And believe me, when this lot give you poetry, you’ll know you’ve had it...’