Upstage Host Eric Sukhu and Contributor Stephanie Breton spoke with Caroline Fortin and Eric Desjardins about Belzébrute’s production of MANGA presented as part of 2011 Fringe Festival. Below is an abridged version of the interview, edited by Estelle Rosen, CharPo Editor-in-Chief.
Last year, you were on Upstage for Shavirez. Tell us about MANGA.
The idea first came to us when we were brainstorming about Shavirez. We said maybe the next one could be Japanese. We were animated by this idea so we started the creation process, The real challenge was to put a comic book (called manga in Japan) on stage. Then we decided to add one more challenge – play it in Japanese!
It’s not real Japanese; mostly inspired by sounds and words but sometimes if you pay close attention, you can hear some French words, some English words. Think of it as Japanese Québecois.
When we’re creating something new, we each put a little bit of ourselves in the mix. It’s crazy and it’s us.
I saw you at the Fringe For All and have to ask about the puppets and the legs that move.
Caroline works on costumes, wigs and the moving legs! The ideas come from the group. When we’re creating something new, we each put a little bit of ourselves in the mix. It’s crazy and it’s us.
For MANGA we were intrigued by a lot of things. We won’t say we weren’t inspired by Quentin Tarantino‘s Kill Bill. We did a lot of research. We like Japanese movies, Japanese animation. Our ideas really stem from Japanese culture. Kabuki theatre, traditions, anything and everything that would motivate us.
We fight all the time! But we do have fun!
Compared to other performers, you seem to have so much fun and the audience feels that happy energy.
That’s good. You should see us when we’re driving out of town. We fight all the time! But we do have fun! Sometimes we invent new languages.
You’re witty and smart yet on stage it’s the very physical strength of your shows we laugh at. With the smartness of your jokes, the physicality and marionettes, you reach every aspect of live performance
We’re really connected, we’re friends and we have fun on stage as well
June 11-19 Montreal Fringe
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