“We were driven by the need to reconnect with our profession and with the audience. We wanted to offer an artistic encounter even in the current health context, therefore we have imagined this tailored theatrical experience. To be able to share this feeling again, the one we only feel with live performance. To reunite with Theatre…”
Gabrielle Jourdain and Samuel Sené
The voices of the show
The creative team
CONCEPT and DIRECTION
After a successful academic journey (youngest awarded baccalauréat in France at the age of 14, Agrégé in mathematics from the École Normale Supérieure, but also multiple awards with honours for piano, accompaniment orchestra conducting,...), Samuel has conducted many operas, operettas or events ("Carmen", "Orpheus in the Underground", "Hamlet", "La Belle Hélène", the official Star Wars concert, James Bond Symphonic Tour, etc.)
Thanks to his dual musical and theatrical training, he has staged operas ("Tosca", "Orphée and Eurydice", "Paillasse", "Carmen",…), musical shows ("Tales without borders" at the Célestins theatre - Lyon), musical theatre creations ("Legendes Parisiennes", "#hashtags", "Flop", "Jack the ripper", "Week-end!", "Ca bouge"…) and also plays like "La leçon" de Ionesco at the Mouffetard and Lucernaire theatres, and "Anna is waiting for love" at the Mathurins theater.
Samuel's following career promptly turned to musical theatre : he and worked as music director for various shows such as "Fame", "She loves me", "West Side Story", "Next thing you know", "Oliver", and lately "Into the woods", currently on tour in France. He conducted many concerts all over Europe but also in Brazil, and directed "Yves Montand, the musical" in Russia (Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, ...) Whether during concerts, educational operations, or engaged creations, he supports the art of musical theatre, Anglo-Saxon or French, as a complete art, committed and non-consensual.
In 2018, he co-wrote and directed "Comédiens!" , at the Théâtre de la Huchette, in Paris. The play received five musical comedy awards, including Best staging, Best Book and Best show. In 2019, he did it again with "A Christmas Carol" and "Schrödinger's Man" at the Artistic Theatre, which won the awards of Best Staging, Best Book, Best Score. awards : the Musical Director of the Year award. Upcoming shows : a new conceptual play about spies during Cold War "Souviens-toi de te méfier", a musical journey through François Courdot's life in New York "Contre-temps", and the development of "C-o-n-t-a-c-t" with many 2.0 theatre projects.
Daughter of a set designer and an opera director, Gabrielle Jourdain trained in singing, theatre and dance at her city's conservatory as well as at CREA (Center d'Eveil Artistique) . Her training lead her to perform on the most beautiful stages of France as a young chorister (Paris Opera, Châtelet Theatre, Vichy Opera, Grand Theatre of Aix-en-Provence etc. ...).
She studied cultural businesses management whilst continuing performing in CREA productions. Passionate about opera and musicals, she joined the production department of the Mogador Theatre. For several years, she worked on various aspects of the production process: castings, schedules and logistics. At its creation, the Seine Musicale then hired her to coordinate hundreds of concerts, shows and festivals for three years. Now freelance since 2011, she has worked on the revival of The Lion King production at Le Mogador and on a big project: adapting opera for a young audience.
Finally, to adapt to the current sanitary situation and to keep the connection between the people and theatre alive, she designed with Samuel Sené the show C-Ω-N-T-α-C-T that she co-produces.
As an Actor, Eric Chantelauze trained at the CNR of Lille and has performed in various plays directed by Brigitte Jaques, Jean-Claude Fall, Philippe Calvario, Ned Grujic, Jean-Paul Tribout, Sophie Lecarpentier, Gil Bourasseau, Vincianne Regattieri… and currently in Smoke rings at the Michel theater, and in Cyrano Ostinato fantaisies at the Lepic theater with the Collectif du Libre Acteur directed by Sébastien Bonnabel. Recently, he joined Mélody Mourey for her new creation, at the Théâtre des Béliers.
As a director, he directed two short fiction films for the big screen with Patrick Azam (A L'Heure; Partir), a few animated films with the collective Les Beautiful Fools (Laïka; 3 November 1957) and the official music video for Keeping You Alive by the Gossip. Lyricist for several singers (Christophe Bonzom, Cyril Romoli, Pascal Sangla), he also writes for the theatre (broadcast on France Culture of his play Le Temps des Chiens). For the company Casalibus, he adapts A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Precious Ridiculous.
With Didier Bailly, he creates musical shows: La Guinguette a rouvert ses volets (With 3 nominations at the Molières 2005), La Jeune Fille et l’amour (SACD 2008 award) and La Poupée Sanglante which he writes and directs at the Theatre de la Huchette in 2016 (7 nominations for the 2017 Musical Comedy Awards: Charlotte Ruby won the award for Most Promising female performer, and Alexandre Jérôme, for Most Promising male performer), and more recently Une vie, the musical adaptation of the novel by Maupassant.
In 2018, he and Samuel Sené wrote Comédiens!, which triumphed at the Théâtre de la Huchette for several months, and won them the Best Score award. He also created the musical Weekend!, Schrödinger's man, and A Christmas Carol, for the 2018-19 season at the Artistic theater. This season he is developing a new play, Souviens-toi de te méfier, and the new musical Contretemps.
MUSIC and SOUND DESIGN
Cyril Barbessol is a pianist and composer born in 1970 in Fontainebleau, France.
Cyril undertook classical studies in ‘Schola Cantorul Paris’ and in Marseille with Mrs Canavaggia. He performed his first concert in 1988 at the Fontainebleau theatre, playing Chopin, Rachmaninov, Scriabine and Brahms. Hi won several prizes such as Nerini (1987) and the Concours Musical de France (1988).
Cyril moved to Paris in 1989 to study jazz, advance harmony and orchestra with Ivan Julien and Bernard Maury.
He played with the salsa band Mambo Mania and became the director of the ‘Paradis Latin’ Cabaret. He worked with many famous jazz artists (Pierrick Pedron, Laurent Robin, Benjamin Henock, Gildas Boclé, Régis Ceccarelli…) as well as artists from the African scene (Rido Bayonne, Raï-Cum, Idrissa Diop, Amar Sundy…).
In 2000, Cyril took part in main stream international collaborations with pop music singers such as Phil Collins, Henri Salvador, the Gipsy Kings, Asa with whom he toured over the world (Japan, South Africa, Australia, USA, Canada, Brazil, UK…).
He was the piano soloist in the Jean-Jacques Justafré symphonic orchestra in 2011 in China.
Of all these collaborations, one of the most striking one was the one with Ivry Gitlis, an internationally renowned violin player. After meeting in a recording studio, Ivry asked Cyril to join him in the Martha Argerich festival in Switzerland to play in a tribute to Gershwin.
A trip to Mumbai (India), gave Cyril a chance to meet Emmanuelle de Decker, manager of The Blue Frog, the most famous jazz club in town. She asked him to open and close the Bengalor Jazz Festival. The success he met during this event motivated him to work on his first solo album, ‘Frontpage’, that came out in 2013. Cyril has been composing for various artists and productions since.
Hanna Lasserre graduated in 2007 from the National Institute of Performing Arts (INSAS) in Brussels in directing. She works as Assistant Dramaturg at the Volksbühne (Berlin), where she collaborates with Jérôme Savary in 2009 and Olivier Py in 2011, among others. In 2012, she assisted Frank Castorf for the first time in directing La Dame aux Camélias at the Odéon-théâtre de l'Europe in Paris before working with him again on Bajazet, considering Le Théâtre et la Peste de Racine / Artaud in 2019 co-produced by the Théâtre de Vidy (Lausanne) and the MC93 (Bobigny).
Director and playwright, she was awarded a Phd in Performing Arts in June 2019. Her research on contemporary dramaturgical processes is part of an articulation between practical and aesthetic theory of theatre. Her thesis-creation entitled “Process and creation of a counter-narration” raises the challenges of the use of narration in contemporary creation as well as the commitment of artists to seek a theatrical alternative in the face of mercantile logic and its spectacularisation. Since 2015, she has been working as a lecturer in theatrical studies at the universities of Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense and Sophia Antipolis in Nice. She has also been working at the University of Côte d'Azur this academic year 2019/2020.
Jean-Philippe Marie de Chastenay
Entrepreneur above all, Jean-Philippe founded in 2000 the Touaregs agency specializing in innovation and CRM, and then created in 2011, the leather goods brand Atelier Saint-Loup. After studying computer science at Dauphine, he graduated with an MBA from Sciences Po Paris.
Passionate about books, in 2016 he co-founded Chaï - a publishing start-up incubated by the Contentshift / Boersenverein in Germany. Being part of the first generation of “digital natives”, his research focuses on the societal impacts of the new dominant players and their underlying models. He teaches and hosts conferences on digital, innovation and anticipation (ESC Dijon, University of La Rochelle, Caisse des Dépôts, ScPo, etc.). He is also working on the report of the informal economy in current changes (bitcoins, deep web, food, health ...).
Jean-Philippe Marie de Chastenay is a doctoral student in the PRISM laboratory of the Panthéon-Sorbonne Doctoral Management School on the subject: "Promotion and impact on governance. The case of Big Data.” His article Interculturality or a new form of imperialism? The elitist "Californian" model of Grown-ups, in Cloet P.R., Guenette A.M., Mutabazi E., Pierre P. (éds), presents the intercultural challenge, stakes and perspectives for entrepreneurship.
French and American, Quentin Bruno is an actor, singer, dancer currently living in NYC.
Theatre credits (in France, Europe, and the US) include Next Thing You Know, Cabaret, Disneyland Paris, South Pacific, Island Song as well as Naked Boys Singing! (Off-Broadway debut) and Manifesto : Diaghilev.
Film credits include the award winning French musical short “Lorraine ne sait pas chanter” (Lorraine can’t sing), the lead in the upcoming mockumentary “Egg on your face (Avoir l’air plutôt ridicule)”, and “Check, Please, the webseries”.
Commercial credits include Stella Artois, Steinway and Sons, Duolingo, and many others.
In 2015, he was one of Mika’s talents on The Voice France.
Quentin has also worked as a choreographer, show adaptor/translator (Un jour où l’autre, French version of the musical Next Thing You Know), director and assistant director, and is thrilled to collaborate with Samuel Sené once again, bringing this new theatrical experience to anglophone audiences.
Autore, compositore, traduttore e autore di narrativa nonché produttore teatrale ha scritto oltre un centinaio di libri tra romanzi, guide didattiche, libri di testo, progetti didattici in musica, canzoni, saggi umoristici, testi ministeriali e narrativa per ragazzi. In ambito teatrale ha scritto moltissimi testi teatrali e ne ha tradotti altrettanti firmando la versione italiana di molte produzioni di successo tra cui Confidenze troppo intime, Parlami d’amore, Il bagno, Il matrimonio nuoce gravemente alla salute, Ieri è un altro giorno, Tè alla menta o tè al limone, Alle terme di Frou Frou, Il prestito, Checossex.
RESIDENT DIRECTOR ITALY
Dopo una lunga esperienza come ballerina e coreografa, approda in Teatro nel 2007 come aiuto regista, ruolo che sostiene essere una vera professione e non un ripiego. L’esperienza nella danza continua ad essere fonte di ispirazione grazie agli insegnamenti relativi alla disciplina e all’uso del corpo al servizio della messa in scena. Curiosità, spirito di adattamento ed empatia sono le sue basi per creare le sinergie giuste in ogni spettacolo.
RESIDENT DIRECTOR UK
Originally from Northern Ireland, Bronagh has directed around the world, working on; Classical texts, Musicals, New Writing, Puppetry, Physical Theatre, Outdoor Theatre and Site-Specific productions.
This year Bronagh directed Rags, the musical by Charles Strouse and Stephen Schwartz at The Park Theatre, in London. The production received nine Off West End Award nominations, including: Best Director and Best Production. Bronagh worked closely with Stephen Schwartz in curating a cast album of her production of Rags which was released early this year. Bronagh’s production of Broken Wings, the musical also performed at Dubai Opera House at the beginning of this year and previously at Theatre Royal Haymarket. In March this year she also directed Umm Kulthum, the Golden Era at The London Palladium.
Other recent directing credits include: Putting It Together and Little Women (Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester); Girlfriends, in concert (Bishopsgate Institute); Brexit, the Musical (C Venues, Edinburgh); tick, tick... BOOM! (Park Theatre); Promises, Promises (Southwark Playhouse); The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Chipping Norton Theatre); James and The Giant Peach (UK & International Tour); Portia Coughlan (The Old Red Lion Theatre); A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg (Greenwich Theatre); Blood Wedding (Courtyard Theatre); Henry VI Part1 (Rose Theatre); Julius Caesar (The Scoop)
Bronagh says she is 'thrilled to be working on this unique, theatrical experience. People need human connection now more than ever and even during these challenging times, theatre finds a way.
CO-PRODUCER & LICENSER CONTACTUK
Aria Entertainment was founded in 2012 by Katy Lipson. In 2017, Katy was awarded the Best Producer award by the Off-West End Awards and is a recipient of a Stage One Bursary and Start Up Award. She took part in the first ever UK/US Producer Exchange in 2019 and was nominated for International Producer Of The Year in 2020 by the League Of Professional Women in New York.
She made “The Stage 100” a list of the most influential people working in British Theatre in 2018, 2019 and 2020 for her work as producing artistic director of the Hope Mill Theatre.
Katy produced the UK Premiere Tour of The Addams Family in 2017 and the 50th Anniversary touring production of HAIR in 2019 which also ran at the London Vaults in 2017 and which she originally co-produced with Hope Mill Theatre in 2016, where she was the Producing Artistic Director for all in-house musicals from 2016 – 2019.
HAIR (The Vaults) won the award for Best Off-West End Production at the 2018 WhatsOnStage Awards. She transferred a production of Pippin, to Southwark Playhouse, which was nominated for a record number of Off West End Awards and her production of Spring Awakening won the award for Best Regional show at the 2019 WOS awards. In 2012, the bicentenary year of Charles Dickens’ birth, she produced a revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood at the Arts Theatre, West End. This was followed by a transfer to the same venue in 2017 of new musical The Toxic Avenger following runs at The Edinburgh Festival’s Pleasance Theatre and the Southwark Playhouse.
GENERAL MANAGEMENT CONTACTUK
After classical training in dance and music in a Parisian Conservatoire, Mathilde studied Musical Theatre at the International Academy of Musical Theatre in Paris, where by she travelled to New York to sing at the United Nations for the Millenium Development Goals Awards.
On her return to France, Mathilde joined the jazz dance company Konnexion. Her credits include classical and modern plays, such as The Tempest, or Papa doit Manger, and mainly musicals, from princesses in tales like Le Chevalier Cristal to great classics like Les Misérables, as Eponine.
In London, she graduated from the Associated Studios one-year Musical Theatre course and starred as Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music and of Pauline in Pinot, The Musical. Mathilde Moulin is also a young theatre producer, soon graduating from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Her musical productions include Mary Stuart - The Musical (Karamel Club) and Kiki, the Queen of Montparnasse (Drayton Arms Theatre, Karamel Club).
RESIDENT DIRECTOR BELGIUM
Artiste couteau-suisse à la fois comédien, chanteur, danseur, professeur de Taekwondo, voix-off/doubleur, producteur, metteur en scène, et directeur artistique, Damien Locqueneux s’est d’abord formé au théâtre au Conservatoire de Bruxelles entre 2010 et 2012.
Après avoir suivi de nombreuses formations et stages de comédie musicale à New-York et Londres, il fonde avec Jeremy Bruyninckx, Tobiarts Productions, une société de production de spectacles et d’outils audiovisuels pour théâtres et compagnies. Puis il commence alors à mettre en scène et à produire ses premiers spectacles : « Frankenstein Junior », « Next To Normal » et « C-o-n-t-a-c-t, l’expérience théâtrale immersive ».
Il est aussi régulièrement sur scène : « Cabaret » (ensemble et petits rôles) mis en scène par Michel Kacenelenbogen et produit par le Théâtre le Public en tournée pendant 3 ans en Belgique, France et Suisse de 2014 à 2017. Les différentes productions du Festival Bruxellons! : « La Mélodie du Bonheur » (Rolf) en 2015, « Evita » (Ensemble) en 2016, « Sunset Boulevard » (Ensemble) en 2018, « My Fair Lady » (Ensemble) en 2019.
Il a également travaillé pour Luc Petit Creation en tant que assistant directeur artistique sur le « Qing Show » à Qingdao (Chine) en 2018 et 2019 et sur plusieurs évènements privés. Début janvier 2021, il commence à travailler comme directeur artistique doublage en Flandres pour Studio 100 et Option Media. Il est la voix entre autre de Nick Robinson dans « Shadow in The Cloud », Kazuda dans « Star Wars : Resistance » de Disney+, Logan Lerman dans « Le Monde de Charlie », et bien d’autres. Il est également directeur des voix pour Cartoonbase depuis 2015.
Kristina Brändén Whitaker
RESIDENT DIRECTOR SWEDEN
Kristina is one of GEST’s Artistic Directors and an actor, director and playwright. She has extensive experience in theatre, television and film both in Sweden and internationally.
Kristina is from Gothenburg but spent 13 years in London where she trained as an actress at the prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama. She has worked as an actress in various theatres in both the UK and Sweden. She has acted in many of GESTs productions: Four minutes Twelve Seconds, The Events, Belongings, My Romantic History, Cock, Expectations, Contractions, After The End and After Miss Julie.
Most recently she directed the GEST productions of #WRU in 2021. She has also directed Voices, Broken Biscuits, Every Brilliant Thing, Offline and YEN all for GEST. Her playwright debut Expectations, in which she also played Klara, won the Fringe Award for Outstanding Theatre at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010. Since then she has also written #WRU and co-created both ‘OFFLINE’ and ‘Voices’ for GEST.
She has just finished filming the feature film The Store (Tangram Films) in which she has a leading role. Her other television and film credits include; Jakten på en Mördare (SVT), the Swedish-Danish TV series Bron (The Bridge) for SVT, the international IFTA winning feature film As If I am Not There (Stella Nova Films/Wideey Films), Steven Spielberg's Band of Brothers, Peter Birro's and SVT drama's Viva Hate and How Soon is Now (Upp till Kamp), and SVT's award winning Sanningen om Marika.