Sunday, 23 August 2015

Theatre in Cormatin

New theatre show for Cormatin?
We used to have a theatre festival in Cormatin “Les Rendez-vous de Cormatin” which took place every year in the chateau grounds in July and August. Sadly the theatre company went bankrupt and whilst they have been saved from complete collapse, they are no longer allowed by their financial monitors to take on such large projects. Sadly that is the end of that.

Every year in January, we receive the “Bulletin de Cormatin” a little booklet issued by the town hall telling us of the most important events coming up in the village that year and we were really excited to read that a theatre festival was planned! This came a as a real surprise to the committee of “Les Rendez-vous de Cormatin” who knew nothing about it. It took a little while to get to the bottom of this mystery, but it transpired that a Le Monde journalist who has a (holiday) home in Cormatin was involved in the organisation of the festival. Why? When? How? Where? All still a mystery.

Things move slowly in our little community and even if rumours do move fast, we don’t get the hot off the press gossip as we are too far from the hustle and bustle of Cormatin city life. Details of the plans for the festival came slowly in our direction.

Finally in about June, when were sure the theatre festival had died a quiet death, we heard what was being organised. There were indeed to be theatre performances, but very small ones in people’s “homes”. There were many who thought this was a daft idea and lots of talk of “no one will want to host one of those”, “who’s going to go anyway” and as none of our contacts showed the least bit of interest we thought that that was the end of that.

Out of the blue, one of our neighbours asked if we would like to go to a performance in their house! I was thrilled to bits. We were to see one of these performances after all. On top of that it was free, all we had to do was take along some food and drink to share as a snack after the show.

The weather has been stunning this summer, but as the day of the show approached it appeared that it was going to rain, I did wonder if it would be called off. The evening before the show, we were sitting outside and we heard some operatic singing coming from Chazelle and applause. On no…. had we got the date wrong? A quick check confirmed the date. Maybe they had brought the performance forward one day and forgotten to tell us, or left a message on a mobile phone that is never switched on. All phones checked - no message.

What would you do?

The play was in the middle of the audience
The next day, I hovered over the phone wanting to phone the neighbour concerned, and yet not wanting to do it. Should we just turn up with food and drink that evening? After a lot of pondering, we plucked up the courage to go round and ask. We were greeted by our neighbour arranging chairs in his courtyard and a cheery “you’re 8 hours too early”. Phew. I clumsily explained why we were there and was told that another house in the village had had a performance the night before and we beat a hasty retreat to go and start on some samosas, my contribution for the evening.

The audience hanging on every word
The evening was a great success. It turned out that the writer(s), the director, the technicians and the actors were all in training and as part of their course they had to organise an event of this nature. They did it with gusto and imagination and it all went very well indeed, everyone there enjoyed themselves immensely. The evening ended with sampling the culinary offerings of the audience and chatting with the youngsters.

Who knows maybe there will be a repeat performance next year, it would be fun if there were.

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