Photo © DR
Les Tombées de la Nuit in partnership with Collège Lycée Saint-Vincent presents
The Three Musketeers
Collectif 49 701
(France)
“Hors les Murs” contemporary theatre series

Could the classic Alexandre Dumas novel be serialised, using a blend of techniques from TV series and live performance? Could the aesthetics of the story be reinvented to draw out the intensity of the novel’s polyphony? In 2012, Collectif 49 701 decided to make this challenge their own in an exciting site-specific piece. The name of the theatre company comes from the door code for the entrance to the little theatre in Asnières-sur-Seine where the group of actors from the National Academy of Dramatic Arts (CNSAD) in Paris first worked together. “Our dark and passionate interest in this literary blockbuster from our childhood focuses on the genealogy of this explosive, comic, chaotic and bloody state-sponsored violence,” they explain. Their musketeers, Athos, Portos, Aramis and D’Artagnan are brought to life in a high-velocity theatrical world that revels in the many twists and turns in the plot and the unbridled energy of these larger-than-life heroes operating in the grey areas on the edge of the law.

The Three Musketeers first appeared as a single volume in 1844 but had earlier been published in serial form in the newspaper Le Siècle. It is the archetypal swashbuckling novel, the big-selling literary format that was so popular in the 19th century, a forerunner of today’s TV series, which have copied all its codes. The big challenge for Collectif 49 701 was to recreate the soap opera format for the stage. The first job was for the scriptwriters and adapters Clara Hédouin, Jade Herbulot and Romain de Becdelièvre, developing a structure that is currently based around three “seasons” (Apprenticeship, D’Artagnan’s Early Life and Aglets or The Queen’s Honour), each featuring three “episodes” from 1h30 to 2h and an exceptional full performance of 7h. In Rennes, these seasons will be performed separately, with a full reprisal on 2nd june. The staging is adapted each time to its new location (St Vincent School in this case).

With deliberate anachronisms (like the Cardinal’s guards dressed as modern-day police officers to question the apparatus of state control), insolent humour, wild inventiveness, a contagious energy and sense of fun drawing the audience into the drama, Collectif 49 701’s work pays homage to the “brutal and messy energy of these slovenly, boozy, tormented, hot-headed, amoral and lascivious young men who would rather die – all for one and one for all – than lay down their arms”. It all hints at a kind of political rebellion, driven by a magical form of theatre that toys with the codes of popular culture to take it out beyond the walls of conventional theatres.

BIOGRAPHY

They met at the Studio-Theatre in Asnières-sur-Seine, having all studied at the National Academy of Dramatic Arts (CNSAD). Although first and foremost actors and actresses, they are also writers and directors in the case of Clara Hédouin and Jade Herbulot (who also founded the Birgit Ensemble with Julie Bertin, which includes actress Éléonore Arnaud from Collectif 49 701). It was Alexandre Dumas’s 19th century classic historical adventure novel The Three Musketeers which brought them together in 2012, aiming to invent a “soap opera on stage”, a crossover of the older big-selling artform with its contemporary counterpart, serialized TV drama. Collectif 49 701 has aimed, right from the outset, to take its work outside the conventional setting, to create “theatre in the city for the city”. It aims to generate “literary dialogue with institutional and architectural heritage”, and to incorporate the audience into the drama – making it by very essence a politically engaged form of theatre. The writing and performance are delightfully surprising with their choices of themes, locations and the place of spectators in the show. The goal is to create a “theatre for all”, taking an irreverent look at all forms of power and oppression, mixing up female and male roles. The success of the show is built on the team’s energy, playfulness and passion for Dumas’ epic work, with a generous sprinkling of quirky humour. A fourth season is now “showing”, The Cardinal’s Revenge. The fun-loving collective, who see themselves first and foremost as a “gang” of friends, are a breath of fresh air for contemporary theatre.

DISTRIBUTION

Based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, with Eleonore Arnaud, Kristina Chaumont, Guillaume Compiano, Grégoire Lagrange, Maxime Le Gac Olanié, Guillaume Pottier, Maximilien Seweryn, Charles Van de Vyver, Jade Herbulot et Clara Hédouin / Adapted by: Clara Hédouin, Jade Herbulot and Romain de Becdelièvre / Directed by: Clara Hédouin and Jade Herbulot / Costumes by: Camille Aït / Produced by: Collectif 49 701

The 3 Musketeers – Series Produced by Collectif 49701 with the support of Drac Ile de France (regional directorate for contemporary art) and the City of Paris Directorate of Cultural Affairs, With the participation of the French National Youth Theatre

Wednesday 23 May 2018
20:30 > 22:00
Collège Lycée Saint-Vincent Providence, rue de Paris, Rennes
Season 1 - Duration : 1h30
Thursday 24 May 2018
20:30 > 22:00
Collège Lycée Saint-Vincent Providence, rue de Paris, Rennes
Season 1 - Duration : 1h30
Saturday 26 May 2018
20:30 > 22:15
Collège Lycée Saint-Vincent Providence, rue de Paris, Rennes
Season 2 - Duration : 1h45
Sunday 27 May 2018
16:00 > 17:45
Collège Lycée Saint-Vincent Providence, rue de Paris, Rennes
Season 2 - Duration : 1h45
Wednesday 30 May 2018
20:30 > 22:40
Collège Lycée Saint-Vincent Providence, rue de Paris, Rennes
Season 3 - Duration : 2h10
Thursday 31 May 2018
20:30 > 22:40
Collège Lycée Saint-Vincent Providence, rue de Paris, Rennes
Season 3 - Duration : 2h10
Saturday 02 June 2018
16:00 > 23:00
Collège Lycée Saint-Vincent Providence, rue de Paris, Rennes
Full season 1,2 & 3 - Duration : 5h20 + intermission - On-site catering possible

SEASON : 12€ normal price, 10€ reduced price, 4€ sortir! | L'INTÉGRALE : 20€ normal price, 16€ reduced price, 8€ sortir! | Dim.27 mai : 10€ normal price, 4€ sortir!
Destination Rennes Tickets : 02 99 67 11 66 | First 3 seasons performed separately - full performance of all 3 seasons on 2 June
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LES TOMBÉES DE LA NUIT are supported by the City of Rennes, the Brittany Region and the Ille-et-Vilaine Department

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