Paris in July: Alas, April
Calling all Francophiles and international theatre-lovers for an immersive, comedic French experience.
Twenty-seventeen was an exceptional year for Brisbane French Theatre with their three sell-out performances of Simone Says and The Student and Mr Henri. Now, Brisbane French Theatre is producing its own original work, Alas, April, to open their 2018 season in mid-July, performed in French with English subtitles.
Publicised as a “slide-slitting romantic comedy”, Alas, April, promises to deliver an immersive French experience, through its music, characters, setting, and portrayal of French public transport strikes, transporting Brisbane audiences to the Paris Metro. Written by Thomas E. Smith, Alas, April explores themes of love and life through the interactions of strangers, blending reflective moments and hilarious, fast-paced dialogue.
Concerned with how this fast-paced dialogue would translate through subtitles, I asked Brisbane French Theatre president Celine how the production team have ensured English-speaking audiences will be able to keep up with the comedy. She explained the production team has worked hard to produce English subtitles for the French dialogue both “faithful to the script and easy enough to process by the audience.” In addition to the subtitles, the play also relies on body language and context to convey the translations and comedy.
For music, Alas, April includes a number of French classics as well as an original track written by Brisbane French Theatre’s Hugues Girod, who will perform the song live on stage. The play features French author David Foenkinos as Artistic Director. According to Celine, having Foenkinos’s as Artistic Director for Alas, April provides “great support that demonstrate[s] that the Brisbane French Theatre is an emerging association into the Brisbane community. It also shows the strong connection of the French culture between France and Australia.”
As an original production, Alas, April represents progress for Brisbane French Theatre. Celine expresses it is the next step for Brisbane French theatre in terms of “artistic freedom and [their] will to offer a unique experience to French culture lovers here in Brisbane” (Celine). With several new actors and staff in 2018, the production provides a platform to showcase the work Brisbane French Theatre and its members have developed over the last few months. Everyone involved in Alas, April is excited about the new work they’re producing, and I am equally excited to see how Brisbane French Theatre has brought this production to life.
See you in the Metro.
What: Alas, April
Where: Metro Arts, 109 Edward St Brisbane City
When: Monday 16 July – Friday 27 July
Price: $20 – $60
Images by Ange Costes Photography