Yesterday marked the official start of our three-year relationship with Domaine d’O, a beautiful and intriguing venue in Montpellier. Set mostly within a formal walled garden the venue has a series of formal performance spaces inside and outside as well as untold potential for performances in less formal settings. For the opening we set up Of All The People All The World in the first floor gallery space of the Chateau d’O, where it runs for a fortnight. Next week this is joined by The Cleansing of Constance Brown, fresh from a great response and glowing reviews in Mainz, which will be squeezed, in its six-door version, onto the stage of Theatre d’O.
Then, in an extraordinary development, we are in their brochure for March with a question mark beside our name. We will be back, but with what no one yet knows. Throughout, the venue’s director, Christopher Crimes, has been determined upset convention. The launch of the reorganised venue and its first season was trailed merely by cryptic posters stating simply “La lune vous attend le 21 September au Domaine d’O” which I suspect means “the moon awaits you…”. The pre-season press-conference was held just an hour before gates opened to the public. Christopher didn’t give a big speech to the thousand people; he remained anonymous. Instead, instead with keys, pencils and brochures awaiting their annotations, the public were led in groups of ten, following various coloured lanterns, through the grounds and into ‘conversations’ with artists whose work would be seen later in the season.
Whilst 300 people visited Of All The People, Chris Dugrenier and I performed our Stan’s Cafe ‘conversations’ in a small dressing room behind the theatre. Chris acted as my interpreter as I introduced the company, it’s origins, history and philosophy. Unfortunately it turns out I’m an arrogant git and Chris exacts revenge via her unreliable translation, first of my words and then my thoughts. It felt like a neat little performance well received. It has however reminded me that I should avoid acting at pretty much all costs..
Finally, an observant reader may ask why this major arts event took place on a Monday evening. Well as previously noted Mr. Crimes is looking to break with convention and so, for the foreseeable future, and for reasons he has explained to me and mostly convinced me of, Domaine d’O will be following a lunar calendar.