A show that does a lot of good!

Comic strip published in 2015 by Fabcaro (Fabrice Caro), Zaï Zaï Zaï Zaï was adapted for the theater in a staging by Paul Moulin and made into a film (2020) with Jean-Paul Rouve in a staging by François Desagnat. When Nicolas and Bruno seize it, it is to offer the public a live reading show with voices, sound effects, music, songs – music by Mathias Fédou – and interventions from the public. They describe it as a “proactive personalized sensory public reading”. The story tells the story of a comic strip author who, at the supermarket checkout, realizes that he has forgotten his loyalty card. The man flees and becomes the main subject of a media story, trapped in a situation that is beyond him. We are already projected into the absurd and crazy world of Fabcaro which is also that of Nicolas and Bruno. But who are Nicolas and Bruno?

The story with burlesque, devastating and absurd humor oscillates between road-movie, news item and show by singers. Photo DR

The absurd in common

Authors, directors and dubbers, Nicolas and Bruno presented a program on Canal + between 1998 and 2000: Messages of an informative nature, a recurring chronicle of the cult program Nowhere Elsewhere, which marked by its offbeat humor. They hijacked old corporate films from the 1970s that they had fun revamping with a new soundtrack and dubbing that was as wacky as it was hilarious. These absurd sketches made fun of the narrow world of the company, a fictitious company, Cogip, which they had imagined, known to concentrate the greatest number of “ties-mustaches”, as they liked to describe the employees (that the ‘we also find in Zaï Zaï Zaï Zaï). “New, special Cogip boxes were written by us and designed by Fabcaro,” says Bruno! And to continue: “One day, a friend said to us: “You absolutely have to read a comic strip that has just been released, Zaï Zaï Zaï Zaï by Fabcaro! You will love ! You really have something in common, the absurd, bullshit, a look at society, fun. When in 2019 the Bédérama festival called us and offered us a hybrid but lively reading of Zaï Zaï Zaï Zaï, we instantly offered to perform it on stage with our mouths, accompanied by a live musician and live sound effects! It was after this that the duo decided to go on stage to make live cinema. A scenic process which consists of projecting comic strip boxes on a giant screen with a live soundtrack, interpreting all the characters and making all the sound effects, all set to music and songs. The result: a perfect symbiosis between the comic book author’s vision and the cheeky world of Nicolas and Bruno.

Double reading

The story with burlesque, devastating and absurd humor oscillates between road movie, news item and spectacle of singers. Bruno and Nicolas do not hesitate to improvise by adding text and comments, which only increases the level of humor, while accompanying the scenes with perfectly realistic sound effects. From the meal scene where the children ask for their father. The mother, tossing the salad, retorts in a casual tone: “I think your father is on the run”, as one would say: “He is in a meeting! ” To the scene where the fugitive finds a class friend who invites him to a coffee, followed by a scene where she gets laid with the husband on the sofa opposite with moans and orgasmic cries in the background . A surrealism where no dead time is tolerated, where the frantic pace in pursuit of poor Fabrice gives even more of a lived side to the viewer, without forgetting the falls of hard-hitting and completely wacky sentences. The public laughs out loud, but not only: they bark, they boo, they sing, they clap their hands, they move their arms in this immersive show where the pleasure is visual, auditory and communicative. But behind the apparent futility of the comedy, in reality hides a vision that wants to be accusatory, like a more political second reading. The developments follow an absurd logic which has no other purpose than to point out the failings of our society. The sarcastic look at the business world, its codes and its jargon, or at the world of the police with its inspectors portrayed as retarded, or even at the world of the media where commentators react live to facts that ‘they don’t know, where the special envoys on the spot always have a late train. A text full of metaphorical comments on discrimination. The citizen who scaffolds conspiracy theories, such as: “The event takes place on a Thursday, from Thursday to Judaic, to Jewish”, and that is how one is projected into anti-Semitism; or even with the teacher who gives a lesson in class on tolerance and who never lets a child of immigrant origin speak (“No, not you, Malek”), or when Armenian tramps are mentioned. A time when social violence has become the norm, and so has stupidity. Like this couple who fall into each other’s arms, moved to the bone for having won a raclette machine. No one is spared, not even motorists who hesitate to run over the fugitive or who refuse to board him just to listen to their music quietly, or the judge who criticizes a man in the public for not having booed the culprit. But there is also poetry and dreams, and when the fugitive takes refuge somewhere in Lozère, and, leaning against a tree, he finds himself talking quietly with a rabbit then with a fox, soon joined by a deer and even a dolphin, he offers them to build a more beautiful and fairer world. So, how not to succumb to the charm of this crazy comedy that feels good in these difficult times when even laughter has become priceless?

Comic strip published in 2015 by Fabcaro (Fabrice Caro), Zaï Zaï Zaï Zaï was adapted for the theater in a staging by Paul Moulin and made into a film (2020) with Jean-Paul Rouve in a staging by François Desagnat. When Nicolas and Bruno take it over, it is to offer the public a live reading show with voices, sound effects, music, songs –…

A show that does a lot of good!