FellSwoop Theatre are currently touring their adaptation of Sylvain Chomet’s Belleville Rendez-vous. An animated film about an elderly lady who coaches her Grandson (Champion) to participate in the Tour De France, but during the race he is kidnapped by the French Mafia and the story develops, with her searching for Champion with the help of his dog, Bruno.
We went to see the performance on 26th January at the Tobacco Factory Theatre in Bristol and thoroughly enjoyed the show.
FellSwoop have created a wonderful whimsical show, full of laughs. The props and costumes are imaginative and creative, I particularly liked Bruno, as a puppy he was a boot, complete with tongue and ears. Once a full size dog he is a puppet with one of the actresses wearing an open baggy brown leather suitcase around her waist, with his head made up from a trilby face, goggle eyes, sock ears and a lolling red tongue, held on a stick which is an effective way to animate him.
All the characters were brilliant versions of those in the film. The triplets were very entertaining and true to the film they were batty, doddery and bizarre ex-jazz singers and dancers, hilariously enthusiastic and eccentric.
Throughout the show a duo played the bass, kazoo, guitar and accordion, a wonderfully French sound and the cast took turns to use vintage props as instruments to produce sound effects; suitcases and typewriters in particular.
All in all a brilliant show and fantastic cast, producing a memorable and enchanting version of one of my favourite films. Below are some clips from the show and film….enjoy.