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It Takes Two

Cillian Murphy with Endo Walsh
10 Oct 2018
3 min read

We shine a spotlight on a few of the theatrical partnerships behind our new season, asking the artists about the appeal of working with each other. 

Gabriela Carrizo and Franck Chartier, Co-founders, Peeping Tom

Franck: ‘We first met as dancers and soon discovered a shared hunger to delve deeper into characters and narrative. All our dance productions begin with a location because this inspires us to ask why the characters are there. We balance each other as artists. I start from the action but we question ideas until they become an exploration of the essential and existential. Collaborating as a couple is important – this is the spirit of Peeping Tom, to break down borders and talk about real things.’

Gabriela: ‘Yes, we do have different approaches and rhythms. I tend to be more reflective and work more intuitively than Franck. In addition, sometimes one of us sees something that the other has missed. In those moments, we help each other and this difference adds richness to the process. Ultimately, it comes down to finding a balance and giving space to each other in which to work – something you need to do as a couple as well. That’s how our collaboration develops and deepens.’

Éric Ruf, Director of Comédie-Française, and Ivo van Hove, Director of The Damned

Ivo van Hove: ‘The collaboration with Comédie-Française was one of the best of our lives in theatre. It felt like coming home. The troupe is an ensemble of actors with all the advantages of being a real ensemble. There is a deep feeling of community, of trust between them. It gave me the confidence to make The Damned, a merciless production that I consider one of the best we have ever made.’

Éric Ruf: ‘In the variety of shows I initiate each season, I know that a few will stand as a symbol of our artistic ambition or capture a moment in time. The Damned directed by Ivo van Hove is obviously one of them. Throughout its long history, Comédie-Française has shown its capacity to seize the day and reveal this onstage. The Damned embodies a beautiful encounter between our troupe and the unique and radical vision of a great director.’

Mthuthuzeli November, Choreographer, and Cassa Pancho, Artistic Director, Ballet Black 

Cassa: ‘Since Mthuthuzeli joined us in 2015, I have had so much fun working with him; he has incredible instincts as a dancer and I can always trust he will give everything in the studio. When I discovered he was passionate about choreography, we began to look for ways in which this could be incorporated into Ballet Black’s seasons. It has been my goal to commission a choreographer from within the company, to create more diversity in classical ballet and the stories we tell through dance. Watching Mthuthuzeli’s growth through Ingoma – his first major UK work, which will premiere at the Barbican – has been one of my proudest moments.’

Mthuthuzeli: ‘I have the biggest admiration for Cassa because of her drive. Starting Ballet Black as a young woman must have been difficult. She is always present to guide the vision of the company and give support to the choreographers and teachers we work with. She inspires me as a young black artist because she recognised when change was needed in dance. She makes sensible choices yet takes bold risks, the sign of a great leader. She creates an inspiring and positive space and we feed off her energy. These are qualities I love and respect about her.’

Cillian Murphy, Actor, and Enda Walsh, Writer, Grief is the Thing with Feathers

Cillian: ‘He’s into human behaviour – the struggle of waking up in the morning, putting one foot in front of another and getting through the day – and his stories are all a way of examining the human condition.’

Enda: ‘He’ll always be like a little brother to me. We have a similar sense of humour. We tend to exhaust one another. But he’s got a tremendous energy – I knew he’d be good, but he’s phenomenally good.’

Quotes by Cillian Murphy and Enda Walsh were originally published in The Independent and The New York Times respectively

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