Chalemie: Early Music - Early Dance - Commedia dell'Arte

[photo from the Hotchpotch]

Chalemie was formed in 1995 by Sara Stowe and Matthew Spring (of Sirinu), with Barbara Segal (of Contretemps) and Jean-Pierre Rasle (from the Cock and Bull Band). Their first production -- The Awful Fate of Blowzabella -- made its debut in the Purcell Room on the South Bank in June 1996. Its theme was the incidental  entertainments that accompanied (and sometimes threatened to submerge) the performance of most plays in the London theatres of the early eighteenth century. Their next work -- The Hotchpotch Pantomime -- built upon this to create a full-blooded pantomime, using existing descriptions, music, designs and ideas that led to the emergence of this supremely popular form of entertainment around the 1720s. Chalemie toured this work for the Early Music Network during the 1997/8 season and has since performed it many times.

Current productions include Harlequin Pygmalion, a comic reconsideration of one of the greatest classical tales, Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean, a reworking of one of the earliest pantomime tales, and Harlequin Dr Faustus, one of the most popular pantomimes of the early 18th century, which was launched at the South Bank in Jan 2003.

In collaboration with the early music ensemble Sirinu they have recently created a production based on the Le Roman de Fauvel.