PREVIOUS PRODUCTIONS IN NEW ZEALAND a selection of works made with Under lili's bAlcony company
France Herve (FHK Productions) I first came to New Zealand in 1996 to create a theatre play that premiered in the Wellington City Gallery. for which we gained support and motivation to create a legal theatre company Under Lili’s Balcony with co-directorStephen Bain. In order to keep building on a repertoire of productions, we maintained an on-going research and writing process focussing mostly on original text-based works endowing the movement (body, scenic elements, lights, sound and virtual images). In each case, the themes were based and inspired by New Zealand culture, from its natural landscapes, history and people to innovative events.
Taking its inspirational bounce from this past scenographic research and Fine arts synergy, FHK productions aims to keep producing original performative work crossing Arts-genres.
2008 MY HEART IS A BEAST - in -situ multi-formats / 6 performers Christchurch Arts Festival, Auckland Living Room Festival, New Zealand.
2007 HADES' WINDOW Short Film by France Hervé / DOP Ed Davies / 9 performers Selection Festival des Antipodes Saint Tropez, Wift festival, La Roue Châteauroux
2003 SALTO / 4 Performers Old Museum Theatre Wellington, NZ
2001 THE TOWER UNDER THE SKY / 4 Performers Studio 77 Theatre, Wellington, NZ Winner Fringe Awards: Best Theatre Play, Best Technical Production / NZ
1999 ON-OFF / Solo Shed 11, Wellington, NZ Magdalena International Festival/ Studio 77 Theatre NZ
1998 THE ABATTOIR / 9 Performers Commission STAB- BATS Theatre, NZ Nominations Chapman Trip Awards : Best original production, Best female newcomer (Gentiane Lupi)
1997 THE EXCHANGE co-adaptators: France Hervé & Stephen Bain First english adaptation l'Echange by Paul Claudel/ 6 performers (2 live musiciens) Downstage Theatre Wellington Nominations Chapman Trip Theatre Awards : Best original production, Best actress ( Zsuzsanna Varkonyi)
1996 LA CHAMBRE D’AMOUR / 2 Performers Commission STAB- BATS Theatre, NZ Nomination Chapman Trip Theatre Awards: Best original production
1995 TOO HIGH THE SON / 3 Performers Wellington City Gallery, NZ - Return Season Downstage Theatre Wellington, Maidment Theatre Auckland Winner Chapman Trip Theatre Awards: Best original production Nomination Best female newcomer ( France Hervé)
About the work...
TOO HIGH THE SON: NZ Herald "Surreal and real at the same time, Too High the Son juxtaposes images of breathtaking beauty. Dance and theatre flow seamlessly into one another in this multi-disciplinary work, creating a new language, a kind of visual poetry. Yet for all its abstract charm, Too High the Son is never pretentious or inaccessible." NZ Listener “ A breathtaking combination of wit, imagination and physical bravura. Too High the Son is something very special, a fantasia brimming with such invention, freshness and charm that it would be a worthy ambassador for New Zealand on any stage in the world. It is like being handed a boarding pass to the future.”
LA CHAMBRE D' AMOUR: The Dominion "It is quite beautiful, obeying to its own logic and interconnections. The audience has its attention drawn to every part of the theatre in Hervé and Bain’s original and inventive use of the space. Capital Times “Structured like a giant poem, or a set of haïkus, there is a beautiful lyrical sensibility and astonishing theatrical devices. Some of the most beautiful image-making you’ll see this year, and fulfilling the experimental tag that the STAB season is there for. Images are screened to the side, above and beyond the audience and film is screen through a water tank, in which they swim underwater.”
THE EXCHANGE: The Dominion “A magical amalgam of music, dance and language, the production of the Exchange by Under Lili’s Balcony is theatre both thrilling and profoundly challenging. The music, from Jeff Henderson on the saxophone and Steve Cournane on drums and percussion, accompagnies the actors, moulding and supporting their words and movements. Steven Lloyd’s set is stunning with its grainy walls and polished steel floor, while Andrew Foester’s lighting is superb. Original in concept, daring in design, immaculately performed, The Exchange is the most exciting production in Wellington this year.” City Voice “Visually - and physically - the play is a knockout.”
THE ABATTOIR: Illusions, Autumn "What was powerful and refreshing throughout the performance was the tireless choreographic invention of the production. Une pièce philosophique which would demand that an audience begin to consider what art is, how it is made, how it is housed and presented, and to what ends." Theatre News, Summer “A very New Zealand topic with universal implications is given the French surrealistic-absurdist treatment and its both funny and thought-provoking. The contemporary relevance is undeniable. Under Lili’s Balcony questions other theatres too. Next to this, conventional theatre looks like a Museum, with nicely constructed works on the wall, threatened with laughter by the Abattoir. Bravo France Hervé.” City Voice “Written and directed by the very talented France Hervé and Stephen Bain, the Abattoir has a deliciousness of language rarely seen in the capitals theatres. A mature play by the styley and sophisticated Under Lili’s Balcony Theatre, carried by a grade A group of actors.”
ON-OFF: The Dominion The audience is perched on a high walkway above the side of a lighthouse watching Gentiane Lupi on a table on which she writhes and pounds in frustration at her confinement. The Package “I’m not afraid because I’m on my own. Is darkness really the same everywhere? Shockingly poignant the material is performed with childish innocence and grace.”
THE TOWER UNDER THE SKY: International Theatre PerformanceResearch Magazine " Way down in the Pacific, Under Lili’s Balcony has been re-introducing the terms of such propositions with elegance, modesty, and an increasing sophistication of means." The Evening Post “ Assured, inventive and technically sophisticated. For once theatre the claim that a show is “ a multimedia event” is true, and the Tower Under the Sky, succeeds with each media is uses.” The Dominion “ Stylised and sumptuous with an impressive set as well as imaginative staging and choreography. Stephen Bain and France Hervé continue to demonstrate their commitment to explore theatrical limits, using not only text and movement, but lighting, sound and music. It is mesmerising and fascinating.”
SALTO: Illusions "A piece of work possessing stature and aspiration, an extraordinary evening of risk, imagination, and performance craft"...
HADES' WINDOW: (film 2007, 25 mins) Festival des Antipodes- Saint Tropez, Wift festival, La roue - Châteauroux... SHORT SHARP SHOTS review for WIFT (Women in Film and Television) by Mary Anne Bourke “A compelling piece of screen poetry written, directed and choreographed by France Herve. Surreal scenes on the Wellington coast and reflections in a domestic interior are intercut with expressionist studio dance sequences. In black and white, with on-screen text and music doing what dialogue might conventionally do, this is radical work that claims a special place in the canon."