Thus Spoke… (4 stars)

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Provocative dance/theatre, mashing up movement, theatre and rock ‘n’ roll

Four performers take on the contradictions of society in a clever, sexy piece of existential pop. Exploding the conventions of both theatre and dance, Thus Spoke… is a magnificently playful antidote to misery and apathy.

Directed by acclaimed author Étienne Lepage and audacious choreographer Frédérick Gravel, Thus Spoke… displays a collision between their respective art forms, exploding the codes and conventions of theatre and dance to create a firm slap to the face of conformism.

‘Without a doubt, this will remain as a turning point in the artistic paths of Gravel and Lepage’ Revuejeu Canada

The action takes place around a stage centre microphone stand as each performer takes turns to smash the fourth wall and address the audience whilst the others move rhythmically around them. Delivered in character, the stream of consciousness spoken words possess a political and socially aware power that pile drive their points home, aided and abetted by the strength and virtuosity of Jimi Hendrix’s still shockingly sexually liberating music.

‘Thus Spoke… has a rich fidelity of the heart and encourages us all to think for ourselves’ Inferno Magazine France

Taking us from Nietzsche to Hendrix, it shifts in jolts from scathing diatribe to rock ‘n’ roll using concert style lighting and the dynamics of a full-on rock show. The choreography is raw and edgy, establishing Thus Spoke… as uncensored, awkward, and brutally honest. Off mic the performers are grinding, and convulsing, often staring the audience down while they’re doing it, daring them to react.

‘Sly, rebellious, and wildly full of attitude, Gravel is the king of non-conformism’ The Globe and Mail Canada

As Ainsi Parlait… (the original French title) the show has performed in Canada and France and now comes to the UK for the first time.

Thus Spoke… is part of Canada Hub, five outstanding companies selected for the Summerhall Fringe Programme 2017.

Hailed as ‘arguably the most significant dance artist to emerge in Quebec in the past 10 years’ Frédérick Gravel is a choreographer, dancer, musician and lighting designer. He turns the structures of choreography upside down, merging various elements from rock and performance art into his work. His productions Tout se pète la gueule chérie, Gravel Works, Usually Beauty Fails, This Duet That We’ve Already Done (so many times) and Ainsi parlait… have all received rapturous national (in Canada) and international reviews.

Étienne Lepage is a playwright, screenwriter, translator and transdisciplinary creator. Based in Montreal, his work is shown all over North America and Europe. Rouge Gueule, L'Enclos de l'éléphant, Ainsi parlait… and Histoires pour faire des cauchemars are just a few of his many noteworthy creations that demonstrate the astonishing richness and diversity of his talent.

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Reviews & features

Thus Spoke . . .

7 Aug 20174 stars

Rock'n'roll collides with philosophy in this irresistible show

Doing its bit to cement Montreal's reputation as the world's coolest city, Thus Spoke... is an unexpectedly winning slice of dance, theatre, music and philosophy. Four performers – Fréderic Lavallée, Marilyn Perreault, David Strasbourg and Anne…

Ainsi parlait… | Vidéo promo

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