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La Grande Parade

Circo-lyrical "Best Off"

In order to finally close the great book of the Circus Ring and follow the track towards the Stars, Compagnie Off revisits, remixes, meltingpots a BEST OFF of Circus-inspired obsessions.

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Circolyrical Best-Off


In order to finally close the great book of the Circus Ring and follow the track towards the Stars, Compagnie Off revisits, remixes, meltingpots a BEST OFF of Circus-inspired obsessions.

By turning on the stage lights once more, it revives timeless characters, inventive machineries, imaginary, stylised animals and a Circus Director treading on the fragile wire between reality and spectacle, angry with his own shadow, elated by matter, in love with his own fantasies… Something’s ringing.

"La Grande Parade" is a pageant of open scenes, endlessly merry-going-round, a circular motion unfolding through a single street, a surface that becomes a volume, a fixed item that becomes mobile…. Two hours of overheating. 

Unfolding storytelling: the story of a director who’s turned his life into a circus…

Among the images: a wheel-cage and heart-pounding tigers, diva mistresses on poles, high-flying giraffes, a heavy-weight elephant, a rapid-fire canon, a perilous back-leap into nothingness, a tremendous lyrical shriek…



Formats & Adaptations

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A Participative Performance


Through a series of training workshops, Compagnie Off offers to integrate a number of local volunteers to the show, as “Ringboys”, "Majorettes", Brass Band musician or giant puppets manipulators – the Giraffes themselves. 

The work is based on the notions “Listen, Watch and Be”, open to all and directed by professional actors from Compagnie off, and allows for an introduction to Street Theatre basics, with the purpose of creating a dynamics with local volunteers beyond the show itself. 

For the 20th Anniversary of the Blois Carnval, Compagnie Off trained nearly 150 local volunteers to La Grande Parade, alongside overseeing the artistic staging of more than 1000 people from local clubs and associations. 



Data Sheet

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Genre: Parade show with narrative stations, halfway between the Circus and the Opera.


Venue: Main avenues, squares and adjacent streets


Stage elements : Circus drum, monumental see-saw, 4m high mobile stages, Metal Elephant, canon, 9m wide "Parabole" dish, mobile tigers cage, small tigr cubs cage, giraffes, monsters... As a rule and in order to offer a better audience perception, all elements are presented high up. 

Characters : The Limelights, a Toreador on the move, the kinky Majorettes, a Majorette on a circus ball, a Majorette stuck inside her a circus ball, Méliès-inspired gaffers, ring-boys all around, the Soulmate on her Elephant, a circus Director about to lose his marbles, his Diva wife and her vengeful plans, an acrobatic lover, an irresistible Lion Tamer...


Music : Live Opera singing. Music soundtrack: excerpts form the original work " Va donner aux poissons une idée de ce qu’est l’eau” and “Les Girafes : Opérette Animalière” (music by Benoît Louette); Circus music as performed by the Brass Band.


Length : approximately 120 mn 


Audience :  3000 to 20000



Cast & Crew

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Concept, stage direction & design: Philippe Freslon

Original music: Benoît Louette

Libretto: Julien Cotterau

Musical adaptation: Claude-Samuel Levine et Anne Rodier

Featuring Les Majorettes de Ste Radegonde - Deuxième Groupe d'Intervention. 





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Press Reviews

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“ La Cabaglata de lors Reyes Magos featured three companies especially called for the occasion, but Compagnie Off’s spectacular Grande Parade surprised the most: a Pinochio-esque live fairytale, made out of smoke, live cages without animals, with all the folly, grandeur and nostalgia of classical circus…”
El Mundo, 06/01/2008


“ One of the most beautiful parades St Raphaël has ever seen! A mesmerizing winter circus… Compagnie Off’s artists succeeded on all counts in offering a frantic and sassy ambiance, and beautifully ended one of the most sumptuous and extravagant shows out there. The entire troupe managed to perfectly work out the actions, in the service of a real story. Almost two hours of happiness…”
Var Matin, 17/02/2008


"“ A provocative and post-modern fantasy of jesters, metal elephants and living canonballs… “
La Voz de Almeria, 6 janvier 2008


“ We’d been promised a delirious frenzy, and the people of Tours, who came by the thousands, were all but let down for this first summer night: a three-ring circus to the Stars…”
La Nouvelle République du Centre, 01 juillet 2007


“ The scenic tableaux unfold, halfway between acrobatic performance and opera music. We’re being cradled by Philippe Freslon’s gigantic staging. Once more, live theatre within the urban space has proven its capacity to unite and create a real complicity between actors and audience.”
La Nouvelle République du Centre, 02 juillet 2007