Creation 2003 Square spectacles

Sales! Two shows for the price of one

An obscure company named ‘The Minstrel’s Trestle’ arrives in a village, whose town crier is no spring chicken.
The announcement is made: ‘Tonight, this company will perform Sales! Two shows for the price of one. Let it be known!'

So, ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare and ‘The Imaginary Invalid’ by Moliere will be performed simultaneously, and both in record time: fifty minutes…

They are off to a bad start, chaos rules: the sets are not all there, the leading actress is jealous of the young ingénue, and is drinking solidly (needless to say that her Shakespearean queen will be wild). The technician, a union activist, is counting her overtime hours every ten minutes or thereabouts. The assistant director wearing suspenders is having an argument with the director. Never mind, he screams: “ready, steady, go” – his way of getting things started – into the mic.

The sound crackles. The revolving stage comes to life. With difficulty, and sometimes the machinery breaks down, then a black guy pedals on his Solex moped to activate it: wasn’t there a quota of immigrants imposed?

Everything has gone haywire: the powder from the wigs puffs into the air, the period costumes fall onto the actors’ legs or breasts. The actors try to do their best, managing from time to time to exchange some lines that have obviously been rewritten and corrected : Hamlet exclaims “ What a mistake ! “ when he discovers he has just killed Polonius.

A mix of male and female majorettes tries to lighten up the general mood. At the interval, a tombola is drawn from the evenings takings (that is, contributions made by the audience) in a bucket. It’s weighed and counted. They’re off again, the screaming resumes into the mic. Are the actors terrified of the Black Hole? An attempt is made to locate it, on the stage. This time it’s turning too fast, everyone is wading through the Imaginary Invalid’s vomit and the guts of the butchered Shakespearean characters. It’s absolute mayhem.

And yet, what love they have for the theatre and its trickery! There is nothing missing: the painted backdrops, the masks, the fake swords, the costume chests, and even the prompter, despite the fact that she has to scream to be heard. One of the actors goes as far as starting a small conference on the theme: ‘What is real theatre ?’

Laughter, mistakes, effects, parody, invigorating anachronisms. Here we find the spirit of Royal de Luxe’s beginnings. The Minstrel’s Trestle is only a pseudonym. This tacky name evokes the period where the “Illustre Theatre du Moliere” travelled the roads of France and Navarra. And this show is full of affection for obscure travelling performers that have never known fame.

After “ Small Chinese tales told and corrected by Negroes “ – a complex adventure - Jean-Luc Courcoult wanted to get back on the road and travel light and anonymously, at least for as long as possible. They manage to play the game for several weeks before letting the cat out of the bag. The Minstrel’s Trestle plays in small villages in the Cantal region, sometimes to only a handful of people. They have to parade round the village in order to attract their audiences, all the way to the local café. Everyone is careful not to mention that this show, Sales, has been matured and devised during visits to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London – and the Comedie Francaise in Paris.



« C'était un "spectacle en solde" par le "tréteau des ménestrels"l, avec des dérapages controlés sur talons aiguilles en bord d une scène qui tourne, recouverte de neige que je suis retournèe voir cinq fois.
"Périmétrisez moi tout ça !"
Au plaisir »

nathalie - Pau, france - September 3, 2012

« Je vous ai découvert il y a 10 ans environ à Art Rock à St Brieuc avec votre spectacle "2 pièces pour le prix d'une" (plus sure du titre mais l esprit est là!!). Moment magique que jamais je n'oublierai. Mais loin de ma Bretagne, je vous ai perdu de vue... Et vous retrouve aujourd hui avec ce nx spectacle que j'aimerai tant voir ! Alors je vous le demande : à quand un passage dans le Rhône ou la Loire ?
Continuez longtemps à nous surprendre, désormais Maman, je compte bien faire découvrir à ma fille comme l'imagination peut amener loin...
Bisou ! »

sandrine - Lyon, France - July 4, 2012

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« […] l’émotion nous saisit. La magie du théâtre tout à coup s’incarne. Encore une fois, Royal de Luxe nous a bien eus.  »

Télérama - 23/07/2003

« Avec ‘Soldes ! Deux spectacles pour le prix d’un’, sa nouvelle création, la troupe nantaise nous sert une farce. Et, avec malice et drôlerie, nous entraîne, plus sérieusement, dans une réflexion sur le théâtre.  »

L’Express - 23/07/2003

« De parfaits inconnus au nom désolant, le Tréteau des ménestrels, qui se font inviter partout et sont soutenus par le festival d’Aurillac : l’affaire a agité le petit monde du théâtre de rue.  »

Libération - 24/06/2003

« En pleine grogne des intermittents du spectacle, la troupe théâtrale de Royal de Luxe s’est montrée brillante samedi.  »

Var-Matin - 07/07/2003

« Royal de Luxe: La fiesta inolvidable  »

El Mercurio - 11/01/2004

« Una mágica y encantadora tarde de teatro.  »

El Mercurio - 23/01/2004