An Inside Look: GOP Varieté Theater Hannover
Last week, Theatre Trip got to experience a show at the GOP Varieté Theater Hannover! The GOP Varieté is a classic Hannover institution that has been around since 1948. They focus on variety shows, comedy, and high-quality entertainment. On top of that, the GOP regularly changes their program, so there is always something new to see!
Our experience at GOP Varieté Theater Hannover:
We were lucky enough to get to see Appartement, the GOP’s latest production. The entire experience of being at the GOP Varieté Theater Hannover is one of a kind. Even the act of entering the box office itself feels like stepping into a world of glam and swankiness. In order to get to your seats, you must first walk down a long red carpet past mirrors, curtains, and black chandeliers.
The actual stage is surrounded by tables, candles, and comfortable seating. The atmosphere is cozy. And the air was buzzing with excitement. The guests sipped on wine and snacked on warm appetizers as we waited for the show to begin.
As you have probably already figured, the show itself was more of a variety/circus show. But what made it unique is that it was all puzzled together in the form of a traditional piece of theatre. The theme of the show centered around an apartment in which all of the performers co-resided in. And within that larger picture, there were many mini theatrical pieces. The evening was full of surprises and sprinkled with exciting moments.
Related Topic: Hannover Theatre Guide – All You Need to Know
Although the show resembled the types of acts you would see in a traditional circus, the performers were more than just people with fancy tricks. They were lovable actors who each carried forth their own story over the course of the night. One of the more exciting acts involved a long plank of bendy wood, two strong men (James Holt and Jason Fergusson), and one incredibly talented acrobat (Coen Clarke).
The men proceeded to carry the plank into the audience as the acrobat proceeded to jump, flip, and do wild balancing acts that brought the guests to the edges of their seats.
The rest of the ensemble was just as impressive and definitely than worth a mention. The additional stars of Appartement were Anne-Marie Poirier, David Louch, Vita Radionova, Thibault Theyssens, Tamara Bousquet, and Philippe Trépanier. The direction was done by Sabine Rieck, and light/set design by Reinhard Bichsel and Monica Danielsson-Bichsel.
Over the course of the evening, we witnessed one impressive act after another, including aerial silk, acrobatics, balancing, juggling, diabolo, hooping, physical comedy, and hilarious clowning. And speaking of that, we got the chance to chat with Philippe Trépanier, one of the performers behind the clowning, which you can read more about below!
Theatre Trip’s Chat With Philippe Trépanier
Philippe Trépanier worked together as a duo with Tamara Bousquet in the GOP’s latest show, Appartement. His fearlessness, professionalism, knack for humor, and love for the audience all contribute to the magnetic quality he brings to the stage when performing.
Theatre Trip: What initially inspired you to get involved with clowning and physical theatre?
Philippe: This is a long story, haha! Well I started out as an acrobat with the National Circus of Montreal. During those 3 years, I did some clowning and physical theatre, but not as my main discipline. I graduated in 2003 with a base for ‘hand to hand’, ‘Russian bar’, and ‘banquine’. I then worked as an acrobat for the next seven or eight years before I had to stop due to an injury. My school teacher of clowning heard about it and then helped me transition into clowning. Together we created my first solo show call Clip, which I’ve played more then 200 times in America and Europe.
Theatre Trip: Do you have any tips for performing in such a high-energy show? Or tips for creating energy on low-energy days?
Philippe: I like to have a quiet time before the storm. So I relax or nap at home for a couple of hours before coming to the theater.
Theatre Trip: What would you say has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face in your career so far?
Philippe: My first years at the National Circus School in Montreal. I had never lifted weights before, and I wanted to be a acrobat, haha! I’m very proud of going from nothing to an international level, as well as my career switch to international clowning.
Theatre Trip: Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
Philippe: I don’t have rituals because I did improvisation theater when I was younger (LNI style). At the time, I had a lot of rituals. But I discovered that when I didn’t have the time to do them, I had a bad game. So I’ve since decided to avoid this behavior.
Theatre Trip: What’s next for you?
Philippe: I’m currently working with Tamara to create our first duo clown show with our company Les Deux de Pique. The premiere will be on December 8th in Montreal, Canada.
Have you ever been to the GOP Varieté Theater Hannover?
We would love to hear all about it in the comments below! Or if you have been a part of a variety show, feel free to share your own experience! And in the meantime, you can always check out our blog post archive of past theatre visits for some insight on what’s going on in theaters around the world!
*The featured image is by the GOP Varieté Theater Hannover.
* A special thanks to the GOP Varieté for inviting Theatre Trip to the show!
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Author: Stacy Karyn
Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.