"During our cabaret years, we often crossed paths with ventriloquists. Their relationship with their puppets has always troubled me. Some attain a level of dissociation that really plants a seed of doubt in your mind, with self-deprecating humour about their skill: who is manipulating who?
The more biting, sarcastic and unsettling the puppet is; the more it mocks and ridicules the puppeteer, the more reaction it gets from the public, giving a striking and almost unhealthy impression that you are witnessing a dual personality...

Like every evening, Alice the ventriloquist starts her cabaret show, but suddenly everything goes wrong; her ironic and cruel puppets, question her, challenging their status as a puppet, claiming the validity of their identity, even accusing her of having burned down the family home… Thanks to the illusion of black light theatre, the puppets emancipate themselves; a monstrous and grotesque  half-actor/half-puppet hybrid.

Everything physically opposes Alice's two parasitic personalities, embodied by Christian Heck and Scott Koehler. They will use this contrast with a succession of gags based on the rigorous mechanics of the comic and the absurd. When improvising, Scott often comes up with an idea, Christian reacts to it with an astounding feel for tempo, precision and skill. I once again make a decisive step in my confidence with regards to actors, who, accentuating the impact of very sophisticated special effects, offer me visions, a realm of fancy and magic that I would only have thought the puppet capable of, using simple situations that only make them more powerful.

In a burlesque surgical operation, they dive into Alice's inner cosmos. As a teenager, I was convinced that our bodies were composed of galaxies; I was already imagining deep space adventures. With Boliloc, I realised this childhood dream. The infinitely large is followed by the infinitely small and vice-versa. At the end of the show, one of the mysterious characters proves Alice's innocence in the case of the burned-down house.

René Aubry composed the music and I am dazzled once again. But one of the pieces does not fit the scene's mood... At my request, he unsuccessfully attempts to re-write it several times, and he starts to become seriously annoyed with me. “Here you are!” he says to me - handing me the sixth proposition - with that phlegmatic tone he adopts when he is really exasperated, “and this is the last one”. This is a fairly common situation between us. Used to this battle, I always have the last resort of acting out the scene and diplomatically pointing out what doesn't work. This time it is not necessary; the song is beautiful. I have no regrets about having pushed him to rework it.

When journalists ask us where the term "boliloc" comes from, I tell some that it is an ancient Sanskrit term that means internal soliloquy. I tell others that it is a word I made up to avoid translating it in other countries where the company is touring. I must admit that this second explanation is closest to the truth…"

Paysages intérieurs, pp. 214-220 © Actes Sud