Vollard and the comic strips

At Vollard theatre, shows and drawings go hand in hand. Pierre-Louis Rivière, Hervé Mazelin, Térésa Small, Emmanuel Genvrin draw sketches of sets, costumes, and posters. Pierre-Louis Rivière drew notably the posters of Torouze, of Le Médecin volant and of Garson A Monsavon advertisement drawing (a star in her bathtub) unearthed from the Reunionese press of 1938 became the visual for Nina Ségamour (1982) and then for the company itself. Indzo (Vollard Combo) took a 1940s drawing of a "scout cafre" as a visual. Already in the 1980s the Vollardians spent time with Boby Antoir, one of the founders of magazines (Tatou) and of local comic strips, he was also a stage designer and technician in the company; and especially with André Pangrani, leader of CRAP (Comité pour le retour à l’âge de pierre; committee for a return to the stone age), future editor in chief of Marg and chairman of Vollard during the 1990s. André’s first satirical newspaper, UHT, was photocopied at Vollard at the Cinérama (1987) before being distributed. Mad’s (Renaud Mader) first drawings for Colandie were published in the magazine Lansiv before being incorporated into the play’s publication in 1986.

Le Cri du Margouillat - The Gecko’s cry

It’s in the Vollard theatre Grand Marché premises that the "Cri du Margouillat" magazine was founded in 1987. In 1991 the artists and writers of Cri, Anpa, Grégoire, Téhem, Serge Huo-Chao-Si, Appollo, Li-An, Mad, Boby, Moniri, Bertaud, Anselme, etc, set up shop at Jeumon, following in Vollard’s footsteps, for one of the most prolific periods for local comic strips. Their many guests from mainland France - such as Jean Claude Denis, Jano, Margerin, Michel Faure who came to give training courses or for local festivals - visited Vollard and "sketched" shows and actors. We ourselves sought out artists for the publications of Colandie (Mad) and Votez Ubu Colonial. Hired by Emmanuel Cambou, Serge Huo-Chao-Si - besides creating a poster for Marmay Jeumon - drew our Ubu in various forms with genius, in the tradition of Alfred Jarry who himself drew the character on Reunion Island surrounded by Negresses (1900), or like George Rouault recruited by Ambroise Vollard for his Reincarnations of Père Ubu in the colonies in 1921. Tehem, author of the famous Tiburce, created a poster for Kari Vollard. Lastly, the play Torouze could have become a comic strip with Goho who stopped midway : it remains a classic illustration ! Like the other occupants of the zone, the Margouillats were given a rough time by the authorities, and they participated in Jeumon’s defence with the help of numerous articles and editorials in the Marg, as well as by publishing special editions on the occasion of Mil Bougies, Kabar zintermitan, etc. When our 20th birthday was being celebrated, it was the "band’decidée" ("committed comics") publications who published the anniversary book in 2000. In the end the Margouillats had to shut up shop like the others, and André Pangrani, sentenced by the Reunionese courts along with Emmanuel Genvrin in 1999 for insults to the government, went into exile in Paris. He published a special edition on the occasion of the tribute to Arnaud Dormeuil at the Divan du Monde in Paris on December 7th 2009.

Local press

The Quotidien newspaper, or the very conservative Journal de l’Ile newspaper, hired other local artists also in Reunion’s press. Serving the local authorities’ cause, their drawings were mainly hostile to the company : they gibed a theatre that was perpetually holding out the begging bowl, going on hunger strike and found itself in the courts for insults to the government.

Charlie Hebdo

On the contrary mainland French artists defended Vollard. Charb and Riss of Charlie Hebdo, invited forUbu Colonial in 1994, published 3 in-depth articles one after another about corruption on Reunion as well as some magnificent drawings of Jeumon. Charlie "chummed" for Vollard for the Paris performances of Ubu Colonial (1995), Lepervenche (1996/97), Baudelaire au Paradis (1997), Kari Vollard sketched by Luz (1998), etc.

presse articles

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Charlie Hebdo, Votez Ubu Colonial janv 95
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Le Marg août 1995, Ubu Colonial
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Charlie Hebdo, janvier 1995, Marcel
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Charlie Hebdo, juillet 1998, Kari Vollard
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Le Marg octo 1998 le théâtre Vollard à la veille des procès
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JIR juin 1999 Un procès de guignols
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Cri du Margouillat spécial Mil Bougies, 1993
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le Margouillat, 7 dec 2008, ed spéciale hommage Arnaud Dormeuil
©Théâtre Vollard 1980-2007 | Mentions légales