"It allows me to confront my evolution year after year"

“It allows me to confront my evolution year after year”

Her experience as an extracurricular facilitator, Élodie Poux made it the cement of her first show, The Playmobil Syndrome. The children who populate his sketches, in particular the incredible Kimberley and her leopard leggings, have already made thousands of spectators laugh across France. Back in Avignon this year, she presents her last one-woman-show there: The butterfly syndrome. The comedian looks back on her experience as a young mother but also on her new notoriety… Around a glass of very cold grenadine, she told us about her experience at the Avignon festival, of which she is already a regular.

Franceinfo Culture: What does the Avignon festival represent for you?
Elodie Poux: Each time, the festival allows me to confront my own evolution. I can compare each edition to how my year went. The first evening of the first year, they were six to come to see me in a very small theater. There, I am in room 1 of the Palace, the largest theater in Avignon devoted to humor. But Avignon is also an opportunity for me to run into all the friends we didn’t have time to see the rest of the year.

This year is your fifth participation in the festival. Was it a success each time?
No, the first time was still complicated. To bring in people who have absolutely no idea who you are, you have to tow all day. After, hop a little shower, a little nap and we’re going to play. The twelve people who told you they would come, do not come and finally there are only two people in the room… And the next day, it starts again! The second festival was a little easier, but there was still work. As the years go by and the media coverage, which still gives a hell of a boost, people start to know who you are and they come back. Some tell me today “I’ve been coming to see your show for three years in a row”. It’s great fun. But for this edition, the rhythm is different: I have a large accommodation outside the walls, in a quiet place. The first year, there were four of us in the same room… I prefer the 2022 version! (Laughs)

Have you ever experienced this festival as a spectator?
I have always participated in the festival as an artist. Last year, I was at the Sorgue festival during Avignon and I only came for one afternoon. I hated that. It’s like going to a party you weren’t invited to! We can’t talk to our friends because they’re towing…I think I really prefer to be part of the game and play.

What is your best memory in Avignon as an actress?
There are many… But I think my best memories are the first times I started making suits. In these moments, we arrive in the evening in front of the theater and we see a huge queue. We then say to ourselves “Ohlala, who is playing tonight?” and you realize that they came for me. It’s enough phew.

And the worst ?
The worst memories are, conversely, the evenings when there was not a laugh. Afterwards people come out and say “We liked it” and you say to yourself “Oh, you didn’t look like it”. In these cases, your hour of show seems to last a week… You go to see the comments, you realize that you had three, four bad ones when you gave everything you had on stage… But if I can give any advice to those who are doing their first Avignon: you never know who is in the room. They are six? It’s not serious ! You have to give yourself as if they were 140.

Is Avignon an important step in the process of creating your shows?
At first, yes! When you come to Avignon with your first show, it allows you to work a little because you play it every night and you go back to the same place of residence, without having to take a train or having to do any technical adjustments. It gave me time to test small passages that I had written the day before. “Here I see that here it is not effective, I will try to solve that”. Above all, these are one-hour slots. Except that sometimes we arrive with 1h20, 1h30 of show… We have to condense or delete certain passages to keep only the best. We leave here with a show of formidable efficiency! I know that performing it in Paris and Avignon helped me a lot to make my first show effective. People don’t have time, they are there to laugh and quickly.

This year, you are presenting your show, but you have also staged that of Charlotte Boisselier.
I am doing a double Avignon this year, indeed. I attend all his performances in the morning and in the afternoon, we come back together on what has been done. There is a split, which allows me to eat, and then I move on to my own part. And inside, you have to fit in the little family, because I came with the child, fit in moments to rest and also enjoy the swimming pool next to the house… A real marathon!

The child is there but your companion too! He plays in comedy The Anonymous Egotists at the Brunes theatre. One more upheaval?
No, not at all, on the contrary it’s great! We officiate in quite different fields: I am in the one-woman-show, he is in a sketch room. I’m very happy with what he’s doing, he’s happy for me too, and we each have our own little universe. He doesn’t necessarily come to see what I’m doing, either. We meet at home in the evening and we are very happy to tell each other about our days. And thank you mother-in-law who keeps the offspring while we do interviews! (Laughs)
In truth, it’s the only time of the year when we sleep every night in the same bed, where we all have our breakfasts together. These are semi-holidays.

Do you find that Avignon has changed a lot over the years?
When I walk in the streets of Avignon today, I see the same things as five years ago. I thought that because of the covid there would be a lot less shows and not even. It’s our good old Avignon festival. And I think that’s what we all like: it’s a little bubble that recreates itself every year.

Butterfly Syndrome by Elodie Poux
At the Le Palace theater (38 cours Jean Jaurés, in Avignon).
Until July 17, at 8:30 p.m.

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