Behind the curtain, a cast of winemakers
Pernand-Vergelesses has discovered a magic formula: marry theatre and wine, farce and gastronomy with, as its backdrop, a charming wine village of the Côte de Beaune. Behind the curtain, the whole village is here: wine makers, inhabitants, friends from here and elsewhere to make these two days a travelling comedy, burlesque and hungry for fine food. The illustrious Copeau, director of the Vieux Colombier who initiated theatrical decentralisation in the 1930s in the village of Pernand-Vergelesses, looks down from his heaven at these wine-making actors with a touch of tenderness.
Act 1: Expository sceneUnder a large white marquee at the entrance to the village, the director welcomes the audience. This is Matthieu Denis, talented actor and winemaker’s son who orchestrates this entertainment. Every two years, with a hundred or so volunteers, he dreams up a headline that will set the tone and colour for the event. This year, it’s "O Carnaval Do Rio Vergelas", a very local version of the famous Brazilian carnival. This scenic appetiser starts like clockwork and there you are, aperitif in hand, projected in just two seconds into another world, festive and colourful and musical.
Act 2: Parade & parody
In the streets of the village, the actors take you in small groups to discover Pernand-Vergelesses like you've never seen it before, Brazilian percussion and Romanesque church blending well together while straddle tractors improvise carnival floats Burgundy-style. A little further on, humorous sketches challenge epicureans and, in no time at all, you've become an actor too ! Another Mathieu Denis Crazy Signs routine shows you how to memorise the names of the major “climats” and localities of the appellation, Ile des Vergelesses, Les Fichots, Sous Frétille, Les Belles Filles, and it's time to take your place at the table.
Act 3: Tasting, lunch and interludes
The tasting lunch starts, entrée, main course, cheese and dessert are served in turn with a village family and in a different winery, all accompanied by prestigious wines from the vineyards of Pernand-Vergelesses. Between each winery, in courtyards and gardens, small performances full of good humour and witty actors are there again to bring a touch of humour and burlesque to this truly extraordinary day.
Back to the marquee for a grand finale and true musical comedy dénouement, the day’s actors, musicians and dancers taking the stage one last time to receive the applause and recognition of a public both delighted and happy.
The next edition in april 2018.