Since our very first project, we have wanted to surround ourselves with a tight-knit group of partners (or partners in crime!), who help to sow the seeds of our theatre projects. We work closely together at every stage, from conception to completion. They are Aurélie Deloche, Sophie Leso, Nicola Testa, Florence Thonet, Thomas van Zuylen, Sophie Jallet, Noémie Vanheste. Our evolving and enduring artistic identity and craftsmanship owes much to the length and strength of these relationships.
Here is a short description of how we collaborate with each of them.
Sophie Leso is a master at analysing movement and its relationship to space and time. We share a common language based on that of the dance artist Rudolf Laban. In real terms, in our day-to-day creative process, she is a true stalwart when it comes to constructing the actors’ physical role and the overall rhythm of our shows. We also work with her to build a connection between the audience and actors.
Aurélie Deloche has a sharp eye for the overall effect of the on-stage elements that make up a scene. She brings a playfulness to our visual approach. Her high standards give rise to precise shows in which attention to detail is crucial. This allows us to create strange worlds that are always linked to history and the wider theatrical implications that are part of the show.
Nicola Testa trained as an actor, but he is also a singer and a talented musician. He therefore understands the stage and the carefully established relationship in the scenes between the acting, music and dialogue. He starts by spending a long time observing the actors’ work on stage and then envisaging how the sound and soundscape can complement it. With Nicola, we try to strike the right balance between moments of silence and noise. He also contributes his own quirkiness and unique sense of humour.
Thomas van Zuylen has a background in cinema. Before putting a production together, he works with us to create the story. We are constantly exchanging ideas and it is something of a focus group. The key aspects of the writing process are making sure that the story is coherent, flows nicely, and has clear messages that link to the dramaturgy of the project. This stage is crucial for us because we cannot go on stage without a solid, coherent story. This kind of writing brings a cinematic touch our work.
Noémie Vanheste finds objects that add a unique flavour to our shows. These props are vital to our theatre, and really speak to our audience. With precision and patience, Noémie Vanheste understands the importance of these objects and she shares her experience-honed opinion on our projects.
Florence has a background in cinema and is always on set. She is sought-after by many directors and since we first met her, we can see why! Her expertise and sensitivity won us over and she is a fundamental part of our work’s visuals and aesthetics.
Sophie Jallet is the gold standard of assistants! She masters the delicate role of assistant with ease and can juggle her different responsibilities disconcertingly well. Her efficiency is a precious asset in our projects. Above all, she brings her relevant opinions to the creative process, making her a crucial part of our team.
Sophie Linsmaux and Aurelio Mergola started working together as part of the Compagnie3637. For six years, it gave them structure and artistic support on a daily basis. They were able to learn and construct a meaningful way of running a company. This was essential for them, believing as they do in the huge need for, and fruitfulness of, collective work. However, this working style eventually became slightly restrictive.
The Compagnie3637 mainly works in youth-orientated theatre. However, the themes in Aurelio Mergola and Sophie Linsmaux’s productions are decidedly more grown up.
In 2018, in order to improve the coherence of their respective projects, and to better focus their different artistic approaches, the Compagnie3637 decided to focus solely on young audiences.
Sophie Linsmaux and Aurelio Mergol decided to start their own company, Still Life, in order to make a place for their work.
The links formed with Compagnie3637 live on through informal exchanges and resource pooling.