Johanny Bert / Théâtre de Romette
HEN is a Swedish pronoun which entered their dictionary in 2015 and designates a person who is either male or female.
It is often used in scholastic manuals working with less discriminatory pedagogy.
This creation is the result of research, labs dealing with questions of identity and gender, facing off against research on the origins of subversive puppet theatre.
Marionettes have a complex, passionate history in their relationship to subversion. They have been subjected to censure, been manipulated in the service of evangelizing, been used in partisan puppetry in wartime (for example during the Spanish War), been used in state propaganda (notably by the Soviets in Poland) or as part of an identitary discourse in colonialism.
Depending on the country where they are located, puppets have also been masked prostheses for conceptually or literally raised fists advocating some form of engagement. The manipulator/ puppeteer is hidden in a box, able to deliver political or social commentary and even erotic content. Often imbued with humor, this ‘carny’ theatre sometimes presented in the street or in cafés has been used to denounce, to amuse, to rally the bourgeoisie, property owners, law enforcement officials and death.
For this new project, we have created a new protagonist, HEN.
With a body made of foam, wood, metal and latex, detailed and sculpted, HEN is a puppet character, manipulated in full view of the audience by two actors. HEN transforms and plays with masculine and feminine images, thanks to a body which can change, imbued with sarcasm and insolence as necessary.
World premiere 2019
Ages 14 & up
Conception, direction and voice of “HEN” Johanny Bert
Manipulators of “HEN” Johanny Bert, Anthony Diaz
In collaboration with Cécile Vitrant
Live music Guillaume Bongiraud (electro-acoustic cello), Cyrille Froger (percussion)
With the lyrics of Brigitte Fontaine, Prunella Rivière, Laurent Madiot, Pierre Notte…
Fabrication of puppets Eduardo Felix
Vocal coach Anne Fischer
Dramaturg Olivia Burton
Costumes Pétronille Salomé
Costumes assistant Carole Vigné
Costumes interns Lune Forestier, Solène Legrand, Marie Oudot
Manipulation assistant Faustine Lancel
Stage manager Gilles Richard
Sound designer & engineer Frédéric Dutertre
Engineers Vera Martins, Simon Muller
Set construction Fabrice Coudert assisted by Eui-Suk Cho
Administration, production, touring Mathieu Hilléreau, Les Indépendances
Production assistant Baptiste Nénert
Production Théâtre de Romette
Coproductions Le Bateau Feu – Scène Nationale Dunkerque, La 2Deuche – Lempdes
Partners La Cour des Trois Coquins – Clermont-Ferrand, Le Mouffetard – Theatre for the art of Puppeteering – Paris, Le Carreau du Temple – Paris – Accueil studio
Le Théâtre de Romette is supported by the DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, by the state Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and by the city of Clermont-Ferrand. Johanny Bert is an Associated Artist at Bateau Feu – Scène Nationale Dunkerque.