Complicite 同夥劇團


Text by  撰文:Ava Davies

Translated by 翻譯:Li Ruixue 李瑞雪

The company that perhaps created and are now synonymous with the concept of contemporary visual theatre are almost certainly Complicite, set up in 1983 by Simon McBurney, Annabel Arden and Marcello Magni. HG2_4688Complicite are probably the most influential experimental theatre establishment in the UK, setting the standard for the younger visual and devised theatre companies that have sprung up in its wake, such as DV8, Kneehigh and Frantic Assembly. Combining intense physical theatre and movement with magical usage of light, sound and projection, they tackle texts which grapple with philosophical and existential questions whilst somehow retaining a light touch to their work.

The founders initially met whilst studying at Cambridge and performing in the Cambridge Footlights, the UK’s foremost student comedy troupe which has spawned Monty Python, amongst others. After leaving Cambridge, however, McBurney, Arden and Magni studied in Paris under Jacques Lecoq, learning the principles of intensely physical theatre which have now come to define Complicite’s production style.

Complicite幾乎可以被是作為創建了當代視覺劇場這一概念,並成為其代名詞的這樣一個戲劇公司。由Simon McBurney, Annabel Arden和Marcello Magni共同創立於1983年,Complicite為英國許多年輕的注重實驗劇場的公司樹立了榜樣,像是DV8, Kneehigh或是Frantic Assembly等,當之無愧是英國目前最具影響力的實驗話劇公司。他們的作品中於用強烈的肢體語言結合燈光,音響,以及投影的運用,敘述他們在應對哲學以及存在主義方面的建樹。

劇團創立者們相識於劍橋大學求卻期間,並曾經共同參與Cambridge Footlights的演出。Cambridge Footlights是在英國最重要的學生喜劇劇團之一,催生了《Monty Python》這一經典作品。在三人結束求學生涯後,決定前往巴黎繼續深造,並師從Jacques Lecoq潛心研究身體劇場,為之後成立的Complicite的製作風格打下了堅實的基礎。

Complicite show the theatrical world what the power of an audience’s imagination can do to a performance. In this sense, they act almost as the audience’s teacher, guiding them with slick but not soulless movement and audacious technological cues, but also allowing us to stretch our imaginations. A production that best exemplifies this must be Simon McBurney’s glorious production of Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’, (which, although not Complicite, retained many of their directorial tics), where, in place of elaborate and delicate puppets, actors and technicians dressed in black use pieces of the orchestra’s sheet music to flutter and skitter around stage, symbolising the birds which follow Papageno and Tamino. Complicite’s work is not easy: they push their audience intellectually, either through the themes which they explore and visually, through their disruptive and initially jarring tableaus. The works they choose to put on are deliberately demanding, yet also contain a certain beauty to them; either in the stark nihilism of Beckett’s ‘Endgame’ in 2009 or the kaleidoscopic whirlwind of images in 2012’s ‘The Master and Margarita’, which tackled Bulgakov’s classic Soviet novel.

Complexity is relished by Complicite: ‘The Master and Margarita’ for one juggles three different storylines, each with their own particular tone, ranging from surrealism and satire to swooping romanticism. A story about, on the surface, Soviet censorship, McBurney chose to focus on the idea of storytelling, pulling a sprawling storyline back to its core and focusing on the intricacies of narration and unreliability. Interestingly, McBurney has commented in the past that he sees Complicite as being more of an ‘arts organisation’ than a theatre company. His point is clear: the company utilise technology, a wide range of mediums such as dance and music as well as acting, and have a deliberate focus on the visual impact of their work. But to describe Complicite as being anything other than purely theatrical would be inaccurate: the variety of different mediums they use are all for the purpose of telling a story well, igniting an audience’s imagination and broadcasting their ideas and themes to their trusting spectators.

Complicite向整個戲劇屆展示:觀眾的想像力可以為表演本身帶來了怎樣巨大的影響。他們似乎成為了觀眾們的老師,用他們大膽的技術以及賦予靈魂且油而不華的肢體運動牽引著觀眾舒展他們的想像力。這一表演特點的最好的例證莫過於McBurney根據莫札特《魔笛》所改變的同名劇作。表演中涉及到了精緻細膩的木偶,一身黑衣的演員和技術人員們象徵著跟随帕帕吉諾和塔米諾的鳥類,快速穿梭於在滿布交響樂譜的舞台之上。觀看Complicite的作品可並不輕鬆的事情,無論是作品複雜的故事線、視覺表現力,或是不協調的舞台著裝,無不時時刻刻都挑戰著觀們的知識層面。他們演出的作品的難度都非常高,但卻都頗具韻味:無論是2009年上演的貝克特那充滿鮮明虛無主義特點的著作《殘局》,或是在2012年根布爾加科夫著作改編變而成的《大師與瑪格麗特》中,為觀眾們呈現的萬花筒般的圖像風暴。

戲劇的複雜性一直是被Complicite津津樂道的主題:《大師與瑪格麗特》這一劇中貫穿了三條不同的故事線,每一條線索都有獨特的腔調,涵蓋了從超現實主義,各類諷刺到浪漫主義的不同風格。這個故事在表面上看來是關於蘇聯當時一場森嚴的審查制度。編劇McBurney選擇專注於整個故事的敘事手段,在為這個龐大的故事樹立其核心之後,便專注於此劇敘方面的不可靠性和複雜性上大做文章。有趣的是,McBuney過去曾經談及過他覺得Complicite相對於一個戲劇公司來說,更像是一個藝術機構。他的這一觀點並不難理解,通過科技、舞蹈、音樂和表演等舞台元素的運用,使作品具備強而有力的視覺衝擊力。但話回來如果不將Complicite看作是戲劇創作公司,卻又都不準。多種媒介的運用都是為了營造更佳的敘事手段來點燃觀眾們的想像力,從而可以更好的傳播他們大膽的想法與構思。

The trust an audience must place in Complicite is testament to the company’s ability to consistently deliver visually arresting and intellectually stimulating shows. Just when you thought you could pin them down as a company specifically geared towards adult audiences in their adaptations of works often thought unstageable, their newest production is their first foray into children’s theatre through the adaptation of Zizou Corder’s best-selling young adult book ‘Lionboy’. Though at first this could seem to be a fairly radical departure from their usual fare, Annabel Arden’s production delivers. The lions of the title are created not through ‘The Lion King’ style elaborate costume and headdresses, but through a mixture of body movement and the audience’s imagination. A key part of Complicite’s manifesto is pushing their audience to think and create for themselves, and this is something that is not sacrificed despite the reduced average age of their audience.

Despite at the hefty age of thirty-one essentially becoming the grandparents of visual theatre companies all around the UK, Complicite have retained a sense of fun, ambition and innovation. Any production company can be wildly radical and innovative; but it is Complicite’s sense of heart which has made them endure over the decades.

觀眾對於Complicite的信任,充分證明了公司極具能力創作視覺衝擊力強並且知識涵蓋面廣的作品。如果你只是把他們看作是一家長期改編製作難以通過舞台方式實現的作品,且只是針對成年觀眾戲劇公司,那你就大錯特錯了。他們最新的劇作將首次涉及兒童劇題材,由Zizou Corder的暢銷作品《Lionboy》改編而成。雖然與他們一貫的風格比起來,Annabel Arden這一舉動顯得有些荒唐,但這並不代表著最重呈現給觀眾的《Lionboy》會向熱門音樂劇《獅子王》那樣在道具以及裝束上大下功夫。相反,作品將採用他們的一貫風格,繼續通過豐富肢體語調動觀眾的想像力。Complicite的一大信條是通過作品使觀眾自行的去思考並創造,且這一信條並不會隨著觀眾平均年齡層的降低而削弱。

擁有31年歷史的Complicite已然成為英國視覺劇場元老級公司,他們仍然持著幽默的風格,創新精神和他們依然雄偉的心。任何的製作公司都可以是進擊和創新的,但Complicite用再創新的基礎上一直堅持著自己的風格挺過了30載。