Monsieur et Madame O

Théâtre gestuel

The mystery is to generate astonishment through the beauty of movement and to touch through the weight of the soul.
Mime Marceau

The Artists

Established in 1998 by Violaine Clanet and Laurent Clairet, both graduates of the Ecole Internationale de Mimodrame de Paris Marcel Marceau, later joined by Françoise Purnode, the Compagnie Monsieur et Madame O was formed to promote pantomime, the “art of silence,” as Marcel Marceau liked to call it.

While remaining true to their roots, they have developed personal dramatic and educational methods fostered by their various experiences and artistic encounters. In a cross between mime, circus and dance, these two actors give life and stature to the most trivial obsessions, causing the almost imperceptible side of our being to burst onto stage in a subtle and tragic-comic progression.

Violaine Clanet
After the Ecole Nationale du Cirque Annie Fratellini, Violaine Clanet studied at the Ecole Internationale de Mimodrame de Paris Marcel Marceau. Upon receiving her degree in 1995, she joined the Nouvelle Compagnie de Mimodrame Marcel Marceau to stage the performance of Un Soir à l'Eden.

In 1998, she created Monsieur et Madame O with Laurent Clairet, followed by the company of the same name, which has staged more than 350 performances in 25 countries. She alternates between revivals and new productions: Silence, on mime! in 1998, Je, tu, ils in  2000, Les Timides in 2002, Pierre et Jeanne in 2003, Boca in 2004.

Today, her efforts are concentrated on producing future performances. At the same time, she participates in various events in France and throughout the world, and performs in short films and commercials. She devotes a part of her time to teaching theater and mime to children, adolescents and adults in France and Germany.

Laurent Clairet
A graduate of the Ecole Internationale de Mimodrame de Paris Marcel Marceau , Laurent Clairet participates in numerous performances as a mime, acrobat, dancer and actor under the direction of  a number of directors or film-makers: Le Chariot des comiques, a Commedia dell'arte performance staged by Fabio Mangolini (1992), Duo Elastique, choreographed by Philippe Decouflé for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Albertville (1992), Il Signor Bruschino, comic opera by Rossini produced by Adriano Sinivia (1993), Les Saltimbanques by Louis Ganne, staged by  Adriano Sinivia (1995 and 1999), Rossini’s Le Barbier de Séville, produced by  Adriano Sinivia (1996), Dinorah, le pardon de Ploermel, opera by Meyerbeer directed by Pierre Jourdan (2002), etc.

He has written and directed a number of performances and has also devoted his time to passing along his knowledge through internships in mime theater.  He was an assistant to Marcel Marceau in the United States in 1992, and has worked at the Ecole Internationale de Mimodrame de Paris Marcel Marceau since 1995.

Françoise Purnode
Françoise Purnode discovered theater in Belgium. She performed in a number of plays and   has been doing improvisation for eight years. After four years of university and at the start of a very traditional career, she happened upon mime. She stayed in Paris to train at the Ecole Marcel Marceau, where she studied dramatic physical mime, the Marceau technique, classical dance and drama. At the same time, she worked with Marie-Christine Wavreille (Belgium) and Laura Sheleen (France) on movement analysis and kinesiology (Dalcroze-Laban). Today, Françoise is a member of the Nils Bourdon company, which she co-founded, and performs in Les semeurs de pluie, a performance of gestural theater aimed at all audiences. She recently joined the Compagnie Monsieur et Madame O.

The performance (1 hour, 5 min.)

Play written and produced by Violaine Clanet and Laurent Clairet, performed by Françoise Purnode and Laurent Clairet.

This performance received the 1998 Prix du Public de la Tournée Océane and the second Prize at the Festival d'Humour in Longjumeau.

Set around a table, a man and a woman live out their daily lives like clockwork, repeating the same behaviors and ridiculous routines. Their comical and ironic, cruel and complicated story is that of an ordinary couple who, with every passing day, become mired in a ferocious, boundless two-person duel.
This gestural and almost wordless play sparingly exudes humor and poetry. It reflects both lightheartedly and seriously on the influence of habits, daily life, and rules, and sincerely dissects the absurd actions which drive a couple apart.

In the press

The art of mime reinvented.
L'Est Républicain

Violaine Clanet and Laurent Clairet are part of the new generation of French mime. Mime fans warmly welcomed their performance.
Le Figaro, Céline Fontana

A performance as firmly contemporary as it is exciting. It will blow you away!  
Paris Boum Boum, Caroline Fabre

The two French mimes demonstrate a tremendous presence and a great deal of expressiveness. They captivate the audience with their bodies and without a word.
Die Rheinpfalz, Michaël BOPP

Monsieur et Madame O : A great moment!
Der Bund

A little masterpiece of cleverness.
Tessiner Zeitung

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