New dance show brings 1930s Paris to the Auditorium

A brand new show by an award winning choreographer is set to take Sunderland audiences back to 1930s Paris.

The Monocle is the creation of Mathieu Geffre and is coming to The Fire Station Auditorium for a single performance on Saturday, February 19.

It will be one of the first public performances of the work.

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It is set in a real Parisian club called ‘Le Monocle’, which was one of the city’s most flamboyant lesbian cabaret clubs. Marlene Dietrich was among its regular visitors. In the 1930s it was a magnet for all manner of bohemians, as well as being at the centre of a vibrant gay community.

The Monocle is to bring a touch of 1930s Parisian glamour to the Fire Station.The Monocle is to bring a touch of 1930s Parisian glamour to the Fire Station.
The Monocle is to bring a touch of 1930s Parisian glamour to the Fire Station.

Portrayed in the show are the club’s colourful clientele and performers. “Steeped in secrecy, sensuality and hedonism” it captures the euphoria and danger of attending the club.

The Monocle is said to be “at once contemporary and nostalgic” and is cabaret themed.

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The Monocle is performed by Rendez-Vous Dance, a company established after Geffre’s fifteen-year career as a professional dancer to tell the past and present stories of LGBTQ+ communities.

Mr Geffre said: “Accessibility is vital to my work as a choreographer. I want the widest audience as possible to see, engage and connect with The Monocle.

"It will resemble a cabaret night more than a traditional dance performance so we want the audience to really get involved and participate in the show.

“It has been a long time in the making and we can’t wait to share it with the people of Sunderland.”

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Tamsin Austin, The Fire Station’s venue director, said: “The Monocle is part of Firestarters, the ambitious debut season of live music, dance, comedy and theatre which is taking place at the brand new £18 million venue over the next six months.

“The opening programme was commissioned by Sunderland Music Arts and Culture Trust, delivered by Sunderland Culture and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.”

The performance starts at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7pm. Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are £16.50 and can be bought through the Fire Station’s website.

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