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Jo Tomalin

Dimanche at Edinburgh International Festival 2023

By August 30, 2023September 7th, 2023No Comments

Climate change is around us and two award-winning companies from Belgium have chosen to show and tell us their take with their inimitable wit, on this topic. The two companies are Focus Company and Chaliwaté Company and they create performances based the theatre genres of puppetry, video, mime and clowning. The former, Focus Company works with miniature objects and puppetry and Chaliwaté Company focuses on the body and gestures.They present their show Dimanche as part of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival.

Therefore, their artistic expression and sense of humour will reflect all of these art forms in some way while dealing with an important topic. Climate change is no laughing matter but these companies are optimistic that humans will turn it around. A creative way to bring attention to some of the current effects of climate change is through the power of theatre and enacting situations – in their own idiosyncratic way!

Written, Directed & Performed by Julie Tenret, Sicaire Durieux and Sandrine Heyraud, Dimanche is the French word for Sunday, a family day, when friends get together and have more time to reflect on what’s happening around them. Through a series of creative scenes, some linked throughout these three performers play several characters, manipulate props and objects, including an outstanding sequence of puppetry with a large fish!

Not wanting to give away spoilers, because much of the impact of this show comes from the element of surprise and exaggerated literal and imaginative visual expression, here are some hints! A brilliant global warming scene shows what happens when a family needs relief from the heat and things get way out of hand reflects on a sadly realistic situation and then turns into full on humour. 

Projecting video above the actors is an effective way to change location and add dimension to the terrain. Then back to the mysterious lighting of the stage we are suddenly transported under water accompanied by a huge fish puppet with very realistic movement and panache from the puppeteers.

Dimanche is a show that builds and continues to entertain and surprise through the never ending imagination and quirky creativity of this collaboration of these two companies. Highly Recommended!

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