L'Oratorio d'Aurelia, which is the formal name of Aurélia Thierée's show, is absolutely wonderful. Imagine a circus with the aesthetic sensibilities of Amélie, and you're somewhere in the ballpark of L'Oratorio. It is full of impressive acrobatics drawn straight from a big tent performance, combined with the visual puns and creative twists on familiar activities that I am starting to expect from the French. In many cases, the "dancers" are actually pieces of furniture, curtains, or puppets.
Not only that, but we turned the Duke into a proscenium theatre in two days. Before:
Photos of L'Oratorio.
Things got very stressful this morning as the deadline for the dress rehearsal drew ever closer, while the list of things to be completed before then seemed to stay the same length or grow longer. However, we got enough done to run the dress, and everything was in great shape for the performance, which went very well. The sad part is, I have nothing to do with the actual performances; the sound and lights are just as much a part of the choreography as the props and performers, so they insisted on doing their own lights and sound. That's fine by me, since without a stage manager calling the show, there's no way I could have gotten it right after only one rehearsal, so the show would have suffered. I know my limits as a technician, and the sound is pretty intense.
Anyway, once we got the show running and two successful runs under our belts, their technicians were much happier. In fact, while we were doing a post-show debriefing, their lighting designer came into the theatre and yelled (in a great French accent) "Vhat are you doing? Eet eez beer o'clock!"