ADELAIDE FRINGE 2013 – Les Deux Amis – presented by Jean Francois Gavanon

It was pleasing to see a show as unique and eccentric as Les Deux Amis, a recitation of various fables from the 17th century French poet Jean de la Fontaine – in French – play to a sell-out crowd during the Fringe.

Performed by Jean Francois Gavanon, in countless different guises including a monkey, a leopard, the king of the beasts, a miserly banker and the bon vivant narrator himself, this show can best be described as charming.  Although making absolutely no attempt at modernisation was a risky move for a 2013 audience, it absolutely paid off – from the 17th century garb to the original text and to the live violin music, Les Deux Amis (named after one of the more touching fables) was delightful. If, like mine, your French has taken a backseat since high school days, fear not, as surtitles helped non-native speakers follow the show.

Despite some minor technical glitches and an initially very poorly tuned violin, this recitation of fables was a courageous and unusual concept which worked fabulously.

This was not a show for everyone. But for those interested in French dramatic history and literature, or those who simply want an enchanting distraction, this show was absolutely enchanting.


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