La Pendue - Polidégaine
Insolent, libertarian, crazy and glove manipulation.
All audiences. Unsuitable for children under 6.
Runtime: 1 hour.
Direction and performance : Estelle Charlier and Romuald Collinet.
Creation and scenography: Romuald Collinet.
Puppets: Estelle Charlier.
Counsellor about everything and nothing: Romaric Sangars.
Two puppeteers on the run are bringing with them a massive weapon of hilarity: they draw Polichinelle, the most famous puppet in the world and, with unbridled enthusiasm, get ready to perform a show of which exceptional qualities they have proclaimed. But, as planned, nothing goes as planned.
Welcome to the hilarious frenzy of a new version of Polichinelle where he appears in his most wild outburst, in an explosive rhythm, provoking roars of laughter that strike indiscriminately kids as much as adults. Because Polichinelle laughs at everything.
Death included.

The "Pulcinella" character has deep roots in puppet history. Known as "Polichinelle" in French and "Pulcinella" in Italian, the character originated in Italy's Commedia dell'arte of the 18th century and became a stock character in Neapolitan puppetry. Pulcinella is an accomplished party animal, and the party, with its jubilation and collective kick up your heels moments, seems to bear, in Naples or elswhere, the existence and History hazards. Bursting out laughing from the bottom of the Vesuvius in order to exorcize the volcano's threat sums up the soul of Naples. And its most famous heroe is about to embody its contradictions: both naive and tricky, obscene and romantic, fearful and brave, rascal and philosopher, the Neapolitan runt has all the typical and contradictory qualities of his nation.

From the 18th century until today, spreading his explosive humour like wildfire, Pulcinella was going to enjoy great success, and even going beyond his fatherland. Indeed, on the back of much less famous pupeteers, he travelled around Europe, giving his strange nickname whenever he went through a border. He managed to adapt to each cultural specificity whithout loosing his peculiar "philosophy". They use to call him " Polichinelle " in France, " Punch " in England, " Petrouchka " in Russia, " Kasperl " in Germany, " Don Cristobal " in Spain; and even " Mamulengo " in Brazil and " Karagöz " in Turkey, a greek cousin of " Karaghiosis "… Pulcinella is alive, heartwarming the one who adopt him, offering his breath and his unmatchable energy to the puppeteer as well as the exalted nation, on both sides of his castelet.

Pulcinella and his avatars form a part of a tradition, able to freely adjust to each time and crossed territories. So, nowadays, the lucky puppeteers who have the opportunity to meet with this major tradition find out during their reserches that they just have to continue in a modest way to bear an old heroe rather than creating their own show. And this heroe just need them for a while.

First there was the "Remède de Polichinelle", a show made of short scenes played "au chapeau" in towns and villages of France. Due to its great sucess, the troupe travelled from town to town, more than a 400 times in less than 3 years.
After several years fully dedicated to research and improvisation around the Neapolitan glove puppet, the traditional castelet and the peculiar frenzy of Polichinelle, la Pendue gives birth to "Poli Degaine", with intent to stop prejudices and maintain the boiling tradition.
Keeping the same traditional frameworks but intensifying the frenzied dynamic responsible for the success of "Le Remède de Polichinelle", "Poli dégaine" represents a toughened and frontal form of the last show. With a simple framework and expending skids, it ultimately offers the hilarious frenzy of a version which rules!
Two puppeteers on the run are bringing with them a massive weapon of hilarity: they draw Polichinelle, the most famous puppet in the world and, with unbridled enthusiasm, get ready to perform a show of which exceptional qualities they have proclaimed. But, as planned, nothing goes as planned. "Poli" refuses to interrupt his nap and play his part, and he wards off a variety of characters from the typical Polichinelle show – the dog, the hen, the policeman, the devil, the hangman – even his wife Dame Gigogne and their 22 children. He vanquishes all the puppets from the puppeteers’ traveling case. In the end, refusing the show becomes the reason for the show and the puppeteers have delivered on their promise of excellence.

Polichinelle is a character imbued with an exceptional richness, that is why interesting discoveries can be made about his origin, his voice, the meaning of his two bumps or his black mask. It is also interesting to study the role he plays in the Commedia dell’Arte and in the traditional street puppet theater, or wonder about his similarity with the buffoon and "Guignol", lord of the social satyr.

However, La Pendue chose to explore initially his hability to play with the endless themes which underlies his strange philosophy. In fact, Polichinelle, simple glove puppet, both manipulated and absolutely free, wonderfully embodies the human duality, the pressure, the struggle or the coalition of complementary contraries. Both angelic and demonic, this character accepts all the contraries, displaying and laughing at them through the farce, this driving the spectator to return him to his own duality. With all these contraries fighting in each of us, he proves thus the indissociability. Rather than despising the conflict, he updates the absurd humour emerging from the impact, and succeeds to make this confrontation the own source of a very comic game.

Eventually, Polichinelle offers to each of us the opportunity to enter into his inner castelet. Indeed, unlike other popular heroes, he is not just fighting against the society or foreign adversaries but against his alter ego. The battle is against himself.

The main interest of a Polichinelle show is that Polichinelle, however uncontrollable he may be, gathers people together. Over the course of the different reading levels, everyone get something out of it. No matter where we are, in a public square, a garden, an auditorium or an italian theater, it is in joy that Polichinelle manages to make people commune with, never mind the social background or the age. At a time where all is fragmented, limited and labelled for a targeted audience, Polichinelle stays true to his antique mission, bends over the castelet frame and maliciously farts in everyone face. He disperses the mouldings and the established order with just a breath, causing in the audience an archaic and healthy catharsis phenomenon.

Therefore, "Poli dégaine" is an archetypal all kind of public show. In fact, it is only after the mixture of all ages that magic can work.

Indeed, in order to believe in puppets, the adult has to strike down prejudice and let himself go through the imaginary liberty of the children surrounding him. Over this experience, the hidden child reappears, bringing with him this wild dazzler quality. Such is the important mission of a good Polichinelle: gather again, thanks to an euphoric abandon, the contraries that hurt, the child and the adult, and, finally, all who play the game.

In spite of wars, epidemics, disasters, revolutions and frenetic evolutions of the modern world, if Polichinelle is still alive, it is because he knows a great secret. A secret we all have in us.

- Soft version : retractable castelet (by plane).

- Normal version : castelet and fence.

- Heavy version : castelet, fence, and orchestra (Pumcliks).

- Childlike version : Le Remède de Polichinelle.
" You caught a chill, you're knackered, you have the scare thermometer very down, your teeth gritted, the chicken diarrhoea or just a backache? Taste this show and… GUERITTO SUBITTO ! " In front of their itinerant theatre, a smooth talker, nor smooth or talker, and a chimeric chemist are about to sell the remedy of Polichinelle, a potion that can cure the spectators of all kind of diseases. But Polichinelle, the only one to hold the miracle recipe, is getting nutty and refuses to reveal his secret.

" Estelle Charlier und Romuald Collinet beherrschen ihr Handwerk perfekt".
Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, WAZ (Germany)

" Punchy Draw is actually performed completely in French, but it’s under-standable even to those who don’t speak the language."
Orlando Arts Magazine (USA)

"La poetica leggerezza, la comicita a tratti geniale e lo spirito d'innovazione tipici della terra francese..."
L'informazione di Parma (Italy)

" Polichinelle (…), ils l’animent au sens le plus littéral du terme : anima, l’âme. "
Le Journal du Centre

" Une cadence infernale, des courses-poursuites rebondissantes, des scènes d’action à vous couper le souffle, des quiproquos et imbroglios à n’en plus finir… non, ce n’est pas le dernier film de Tarantino, c’est un spectacle de théâtre forain et marionnettes à gaine. " " Effet cathartique radical. "

" Chapeau bas et respect pour la prestation de la compagnie La Pendue qui allie manipulation, diction et interprétation de façon magistrale. " " Un spectacle détonnant ! "
Ouest France

" A la fois maîtres de leur art, inventifs, et respectueux de quatre siècles de tradition d’irrespect. "
Le Télégramme

"If you ever manage to get to see this show, do! It’s hilarious!"
Puppets in Melbourne (Australia)

" Un brin de folie, un zeste de Tex Avery, une technique de manipulation endiablée. "
Le Progrès

" Virtuos spielen sie mit ihren Handpuppen, temporeich, perfekt in der Abstimmung (...) sehr zum Vergnügen der Zuschauer, die 50 Minuten lang vergessen haben, dass sie schon lange erwachsen und vernünftig sind."
Ruhr Nachrichten (Germany)

" Ça tue un ours ! "