WILD SIDE STORY, Compagnie Off’s latest creation (2017) is a free rewriting of two works : Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story.
Compagnie Off has explored plenty of urban sites such as streets, avenues, squares, tracks, industrial wastelands and other unusual locations. Today, we focus on the big, rational urban systems’ unconscious ramifications : motorway exits, interchangers, ring roads…
Born out of the urban need for acceleration, rapid connection, city bypass, fluid access and traffic, the building of motorways and ring roads has produced urban frontiers around and within the city. As long as these spaces were left overlooked by politics and urbanism, they were of no public interest and ended up being used as a junkyard for a consumerist society and its freewheeling evolutions and wild revolutions…
The stage setting for WILD SIDE STORY is based on this geographic reality. New York’s West Bronx area translates into our own « Point Zero » : a « non-location » which is difficult to own, marking a fissure between territories, and creating lines of «no-life» between cities. Whether referencing Verona and the age-old war between Capulet and Montagues, or the territorial conflict between Sharks and Jets, the heart of the matter remains the same: the eternal human issue of possession. How can we play with these spaces, reclaim them and transform them into public playgrounds ?
WILD SIDE STORY is a theatrical, spectacular enlargement of a love story where couples, Maria-Tony and Juliet-Romeo, merge into one, as the story repeats itself in complex, infinite variations, both dramatic and predictable.
A fiction born out of reality, a show that starts in excessive normality.
The show is fixed, on a vast stage of asphalt (70m x 50m). The audience is immersed into the action, and then, depending on the action, switches to:
- A large linear frontal view
- A bi-frontal view
- A 360°-wide view
The motorised vehicles’ stunts happen on the ground. Scenes that include text and the lead characters’ sequences are raised above ground.
Several characters will, at times, progress through airborne scenes.
Philippe Freslon, artistic director