Thursday, November 18, 2010

C'est Incroyable

France 'as got talent, roight
Last night I caught the end of 'La France a un Incroyable Talent' which, in my mind, doesn't exactly trip off the tongue like 'Britain's got Talent' and I think tends to be reduced to 'Incroyable Talent'. Anyway, I suppose it's basically the same programme - a qualifying 2-minute round before 3 judges, semi-final and final.

One of the judges is Sophie Edelstein, artistic director of Pinders circus which means certain acts might not only get through to the next round but are told, "the doors of my circus are open to you". The singer Dave is another judge, and the third one is Gilbert Rozon, creator of the festival 'Juste pour rire' (Just for Laughs).

I'm not a great fan of talent shows, but my boys like watching this and it makes for a cosy family moment watching it together; having a laugh, giving opinions on the acts, and guffawing at the crap. Enhanced, natch, by the fact that there are some very talented people out there.

One of the acts yesterday was Sacha la Grenouille, an amazing 36-yr old contortionist who gave a stunning show that had everyone on their feet. Sophie had already seen him in action and told him the doors to her circus were open. His act was colourful, funny and charming. And we squirmed as he achieved impossible positions.

There was an hilarious impersonator, Jérémy, who gave a slick show where he imitated 20 voices in two minutes. At the end, Gilbert said he was disappointed he hadn't done Frank Sinatra whereupon Jérémy broke into song with New York New York, and had everyone on their feet again. He has a really funny face, is full of humour and seems like a very jolly guy. Brilliant! Off stage, he imitated a camp gay man in the post-show interview which had us in fits.

We don't have any show-worthy incroyable talent in our family, but my youngest is set on becoming the voice of Floppy the Monster. I've been writing flipcharts to go with the book and story-builder this week. As they are aimed at pre-school children who can't read, they are full of images and sound. I've been doing one on maths, counting up to four, and a language one describing Floppy's house and garden. My youngest is doing the voice in French, and counting in English.

I was thinking this morning how I loathe children in adverts with their cute voices saying how much they love ham and yoghurt,and how I refuse to buy anything that's been advertised using a child to manipulate me into wanting it. Advertisers don't understand that we find our own kids cute, not everyone else's, and especially not those in adverts. Or maybe I'm in a curmudgeonly minority...

Which brings me (enfin) to my niggling doubts that I should not be using a child to be the voice of Floppy the Monster in French, but maybe a more mature, professional-sounding native Frog. But then I say to myself that small children might identify with a child's voice more than with an adult voice, and listen to the words more enthusiastically because it would be like playing with the child rather than learning from an adult.

For the moment we'll carry on, trying to overcome the raspberry sound that accompanies every 'ppy' and speaking slowly and clearly: Voici Floppy le Monstre. Il a un grand sourire...

You never know, we may make a voice-over/dubber incroyable talent of him yet! It's about time there were more voices used to dub films. I hear the voice OuiOui (Noddy) in all sorts of films and tele shows, it's most bizarre and distractingly irritating.

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