Creation 1985 Parades

The return of Roland de Roncevaux

Press article from the French newspaper Sud-Ouest, 13/07/1985.

Royal de Luxe is not a company like the others. If Jean-Luc Courcoult and his friends have chosen street theatre, it is for an obvious reason: the audience is already there. In seven years of activity, these actors have staged dozens of shows, always starting from the same principle: to be inspired by the place where the performance takes place, to develop a scenario and a route - a direction - based on history, legends and local myths. From Bayonne to Hamburg, from Toulouse to Italy, Royal de Luxe has multiplied the unusual and powerful images draining and dragging behind it an audience of curious and onlookers, bringing modernity to the heart of the cities and at the same time rediscovering the origins of theatrical performance, that of the fairground or the church square, the one that existed before the invention of the Italian-style stage. It was when Jean-Luc Courcoult was exploring the place between the citadel and the river that he came across the station, the small square building, which had been abandoned for ages, looked sad with its punctured windows and traces of squatting. On the edge of a muddy Gironde, at the end of a pair of rusty tracks and behind two orphaned bumpers, it was waiting to be demolished. There was like a click in the head of the artists: it was necessary to integrate this demolition with Roland's gesture, with the fireworks, in a word to make of the station of Blaye the best of the firecrackers of July 14th. And as long as we were there, we would set fire to the goods station, a large shed of planks just a stone's throw away from there. The security services put a final stop to the project. No question of explosion or implosion, they said. The station will be demolished with a bulldozer, under Roland's watch, because Roland will be the hero of the party. Legend says that after being betrayed by the Basques in Roncesvalles and dying there, Roland was taken to the church of Saint-Seurin in Bordeaux before being buried in Blaye. Thus, thanks to a 9th century knight, a 17th century citadel and a 20th century railway station, a sub-prefecture which had been quiet until then, will experience some of the most delirious hours it has ever known on the 14th of July...

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