Co-Productions – This is (not) Europe

Teatro O Bando (Palmela, Portugal) / Théâtre Massalia and Collectif Le Nomade Village (Marseille, France)

If Europe is a car, how do we drive it?

Actors, musicians and dancers reflect on the different paths taken by Europe. They explore its advances and setbacks, accelerations and major slips, accidents and damage, small falls and victories on this winding contemporary journey.

Notes on the working process

We all decided to be part of the stage process to avoid any tensions that a creation made by two artistic teams, each with their own director, might develop. We really enjoyed building and performing this show. It has been tremendously easy and difficult at the same time, trying to understand what the other means when they want to cover all the stage with grass (but we forgot that idea). We had discussions in very rough English and maybe that saved us. Because we had to slowly choose our words, trying to express the weird feeling one could have about a scene (already tricky in your own language) it gave us some humility. It helped us to think simply and have clear ideas. We tried to make this show as near as possible to our own personal feelings about the situation in European today.

About how to reach an audience that is not very concerned by theatre:

We attached a lot of importance to constructing and designing This is (not) Europe with regard to the 15-25 year olds that engage with TV shows, YouTuber’s videos and a lot of artistic material shared through the Internet. So, we decided to make it fun, dynamic and articulated through strong characters. We also included a filming setup in the staging, linking a strong visual link between theatre’s stage and screening experience.

About digital tools:

The entire light, sound and video line is controlled from inside the Renault 4L. Its heart is filled with electronics and a computer centralises all the information produced by different sensors. Apart from classic projectors, the lights that equip the car and those on stage have been made to measure. In case of an accident we have to adapt to problems. We are the rats of our own laboratory. This direct relation between lights, sound and video is therefore alive and we use it during the phases of improvisation and the writing of the spectacle.

This dynamic allows us to use technical and numerical tools as ingredients of the writing of the show in the same way that the play, dance, texts and music do.