We are right in the middle of the final three weeks of admin before we start rehearsals for Dracula – a Terrifying Comedy. Maybe it should be called Dracula – a Terrifying Project. We will be a team of 8 people, from France, Italy, London and Wiltshire. Four actors, a director, a assistant plus a writer and her 3 year-old son are coming to rehearse at the Pound, where we are in residence, then tour for three weeks. There is a temptation to rant. Or panic. Both happen regularly. Mostly about organisation.
We are the Last Baguette theatre company. My name is Sidney and my partner (both in theatre and in life) is Tristan. We are actors and producers in the company. We met at university, then moved to France together to study. Me at the Philippe Gaulier school and Tristan at Jacques Lecoq. After we had finished studying we made two shows with a group of friends from many countries who had studied with us.
We called ourselves the Last Baguette. The decision was made over a six way Skype conversation, with people in France, England, Switzerland and Spain. It is difficult to talk on Skype. The signal was bad and I wanted to go to bed. Everyone was writing ideas in the chat bar, which at that point I had not found out how to view.
There was some confusion over the name. Bifidus Theatre was one idea (bifidus is the probiotic microbe found in some yogurt!). Thinking of how to maximize Google search results, The George Michael Theatre Company was suggested. Someone had the idea of a Baguette, as we had all studied in Paris together. I am not sure whether it was the Lost Baguette or Last in the conversation – I was lost but the Last stuck.
We have a Facebook profile of someone called Last rather than a Page. I am Last’s sister. Tristan and rest of the gang in Europe and Canada are also Last’s family. Last has a birthday and gets messages from friends. I love having the wrong type of Facebook account.
We came back to live in the UK at Christmas 2013 after being in Paris for 7 years. We missed the food and we missed our friends, but it was a bit of a relief. It was good to understand what was being said at parties and on the street. We thought of moving to hip and happening Bristol. But we have stayed in Malmesbury where I grew up – and it has been wonderful. Friendly and exciting both for living and working.
Now we are about to start our second UK project – Dracula. Our first project here was What’s the Matter? a physical comedy about physics. It was also developed with the support of Pound Arts, and with Salisbury Arts Centre, but it was a much smaller project. This time we are working with a bigger team, with designers and a cast of four.
The project is a reworking of the last show we made in France – Dracula: l’humour plus fort que la mort. Humour more strong that death. Maybe that’s what we need at the moment. I hope the show will be funny, touching, scary, musical, ridiculous and relevant. You can find out more what it might be like here or what it used to be like here.
We will also be doing a series of Halloween themed theatre workshops around Wiltshire to accompany the show, which you can find out about here.
I know art is important. But it isn’t life or death. So why does it feel like it? Why does a Skype meeting between the director and writer make me want to lie down and read a reassuringly boring history magazine? Why does finding a designer result in listening to Harry Potter on audiobook? Hints, tips, and thoughts about project organisation are all welcome. Drop us an email on email@example.com or find us on FB or Twitter @TheLastBaguette.