Spinning like a propeller, an (apparent) frail young girl rises into the air. There are three guys propelling it like this, then passing it from arm to arm. It’s an inventive and original show broadcast on Tuesday January 23 by France 4. A whirlwind of acrobatics on the ground and in the air, feats of force, appearances and disappearances, numbers that will make you shudder or laugh. .

Presented at Bobino in the winter of 2016-2017, The Elephant in the Room, created in 2015, directed by Charlotte Saliou and performed by the four members of Cirque Le Roux, invokes, based on a basic argument of theater boulevard – a woman, a bit fatal, a very spurned husband, a lover and a valet –, a circus act revisited in cabaret mode.

The setting, a bourgeois interior from the 1930s, is also there: sofa that swallows the characters, slamming doors, etc. As a fine and thoughtful accompaniment to these successions of paintings which often leave one speechless, a work on music, which includes jazz classics, the songs of Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) or Billie Holiday (1915-1959) and evocations of film music.

Struggling with the femme fatale, the newly rejected husband, the possible lover and the valet. Characters drawn from the codes of the boulevard for “a plot that combines the eternal themes of love, friendship and the unsaid,” says the Cirque Le Roux program. They hide, appear and disappear in a sideboard, the cushions of a sofa. Doors slam, we follow a poisoned drink with our eyes, there are fainting, rustling, burlesque, suspense. Postures with almost stopped movements.

Decadent ambiance

The story takes place in the fall of 1937, in Miss Betty’s sumptuous castle. Annoyed by the three men, she comes to stand aside from the guests in the lounge-smoking room, a chic boudoir. Cigars, whisky, slapstick and impressive acrobatics. “The elephant in the room” which gives its title to the show is high society, encased in this decadent black atmosphere and shaken by a thousand twists and turns…

Placed on the Bobino stage at the end of the show, a pole will be used by the four artists of Cirque Le Roux for an impressive number, which begins with the singing of Frank Sinatra on What Now My Love, then the heady melody by Ennio Morricone (1928-2020) for the duel scene in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), by Sergio Leone.

For all these scenes and others, acrobatics on the ground, in the air, hand to hand, lifts are called upon. Everyday furniture is transformed into platforms for the different paintings. With a connection to music that often comes from jazz, Dixieland, Ellington swing, and others. Also with the original compositions of the pianist Alexandra Stréliski, with precise highlighting and ending of the situations. This results in great music hall, inventive and deeply original.