Simsalabim Productions

Part of the creative team for the decors & small role.

Other national Theater London article :

Simsalabim Productions, France, 55mins

Voila! Europe Festival, London | November 9-22, 2020

Nick Awde | THE X REPORT

The Escape of Iris Dupont – aka L’Evasion d’Iris Dupont – is a solo mask piece made as a direct artistic response to our Covid times. And although devised and performed within the specific setting of lockdown in the South of France, it’s delightfully universal.

‘Delightfully’ is an odd word of choice perhaps, but the success of this piece lies very much in finding the positive at the moment and celebrating it while acknowledging the paradox of how the social animal that is humankind has had to save itself (from itself) through isolation.

With smatterings of French, mainly public services announcements subtitled in English, Freya Stang’s pensioner, who lives alone, suddenly finds her routine of cleaning her impeccable home in a sleepy provincial town interrupted by news flashes announcing the invasion of the virus and lockdown. Like wartime bulletins, each signs off with “Vive la république!” – “Long live the Republic!”

New regulations are continually announced, rapidly corralling older people in their own home and in care homes into an utterly cut-off existence. A clock ticks relentlessly, pushing Iris deeper into quarantine, and as the radio blares out “While at home take care of your loved ones!”, the minutiae of her daily habits become a poignant lifeline: laying madeleines on a plate, hoovering, dusting, expanded by new routines prompted by the radio such as reading, workouts, dancing with herself.

Running gags build as she tries to follow the rules and impose order on her own life, but as the daily totals of cases and deaths mount, her ennui grows exponentially – as do the rapture and despair. And then one day activity starts to enter from outside – church bells, a mask left at her door – along with the grim reports of older people dying in care homes with no one to comfort them.

So one day she escapes, and what has so far been a filmed stage production before a present audience, now becomes a roaming street video as Iris wanders her town. It’s clear that she’s not breaking any law nor is she fleeing, seeking haven elsewhere. Going outside is her breakout and her reconnection, resetting her normal solitude in place of the imposed isolation.

In Simsalabim’s production, Stang keeps focus throughout as performer and director, her dutifully restrained physicality signalling the nuances of Iris’s moods and changes. The action is well paced and never stops long enough to wallow in itself (a pitfall of mask theatre) – in fact the non-dialogue fits the cloying silence of quarantine, limned by the default look of Iris’s mask (resigned bemusement I’ll hazard).

With Elisabeth Mazauric on camera, Stang connected with the world narrative by using their daily allowance of 60 minutes exercise to film the outside scenes. And it’s an interesting transition, the strangely deserted town evoking ‘The Day After…’ scenarios as the camera follows her around the town’s empty squares and streets. Eventually Iris encounters other town inhabitants – real-life – who greet her from a distance.

The creative team convincingly make a little go a long way: Coco as the bever with Rika Deryckere’s as the bird and her chintzy painted interior of Iris’s flat, costumes by Françoise Schira with the help of Philippe Schira, large marionettes by Solenne Capmas, while Didier Peigle’s sound design offsets the radio flashes with Vivaldi, pop, chamber folk and birdsong.

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LEPORELLO schetsbook

Every handmade Leporello is unique and filled, recto verso, with drawings in and around Sauve. Interrested ? Let me know.

These are not made in advance. I take the order, discuss with the client and go from there.
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Cours et jardins des arts à VERS Pont du Gard

VERS ouvre les cours et les jardins sur des belles accrochages et installations de peintres, photographes, plasticiens et sculpteurs.

SAMEDI 18 juillet de 14h00 à 21h00
DIMANCHE 19 juillet de 10h00 à 18h00
42 artistes

Venez me voir au 94 chemin des Carrières.

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Décor, for a masked theatre play.

par Freya Stang
Vendredi 3 et samedi 4 juillet 2020 à 20h30
A la Galerie Vidourle Prix
– Un jour, en plein confinement et sans attestation, Iris Dupont s’évade de sa maison.
– Une pièce de théâtre avec masque.
Convient aux spectateurs de plus de 14 ans.
Places limitées à 15 personnes par représentation.
Réservations conseillées 06 09 41 24 30 ou
Galerie Vidourle – 4, rue des Bourgades – 30610 Sauve
Créé et joué par : Freya Stang
Représentation – participants sur scène et dans les coulisses : Freya Stang, Corinne Faucon, Rika Deryckere
Film – acteurs/figurants : Freya Stang, Patrick Lepetz
Voix : Didier Peigle
Décor : Rika Deryckere
Prises de vue film : Elisabeth Mazauric
Son : Didier Peigle
Lumière : Didier Peigle
Masques : Freya Stang
Grandes marionnettes : Solenne Capmas
Couturière : Francoise Schira
5 x : 170x160cm backdrops, acrylic on canvas.
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Veggie patterns / Lino series for purchases

Titles: Motifs d’impression “Autour de la table” or Veggie patterns

Technique: Lino cuts reduction plus paste-ups. Linogravure / 2 passages et 2 superposition couleurs – ink/encre Aqua-Linol. Paper: buvard blanc pur 120g. Dimensions : Plate/Plaque 28cmx31cm – Paper/papier 31cmx50cm.

Price : 140€ + includes shipping


A number of plates are on display at Galerie Vidourle in Sauve, France.

The Galerie also proposes a sale via ETSI.

Exhibited at Galerie Vidourle, Sauve
Exhibited at Galerie Vidourle, Sauve
For sale via ETSI by Galerie vidourle
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