Joris Lacoste / Emmanuelle Lafon / Encyclopédie de la parole

With blablabla, Joris Lacoste and Emmanuelle Lafon orchestrate, for the first time, a children’s version of their Encyclopédie de la parole. In this piece, devised using recordings of all different kinds, an actress-singer-performer explores how children hear. Thus, the question is not what is their point of view, but what is their “point of hearing?” This show is designed for adult and child audiences alike.

There are no characters, no story, with a beginning, middle and end. Just words. A hundred or so of them, taken from a wide variety of sources which, when pieced together and spoken by a single voice, conjure up in the minds of spectators, young and old alike, a drama all of its own. Directed by Emmanuelle Lafon and composed by Joris Lacoste, blablabla draws upon the slightest oral inflections of each word. It might be Mrs. McGonagall greeting Hogwarts’ young witches and wizards, Jean-Pierre Pernaut presenting the day’s events on TF1, a break-time game of cops and robbers, the conductor welcoming us aboard the TGV n°1456 train, a speaking toy, a rapper rapping, the queen of hearts wanting to make some heads roll or Radouane’s fits of laughter… What do we hear, in terms of their meaning, when these words are taken out of their context and turned into sound matter? And how do children perceive what they hear at school, at home, in the street, or on the television? Via a special sound device, designed by Ircam for the occasion, the actress-singer-performer Anna Carlier experiments with her voice and summons up an array of different characters. For the last twelve years, the Encyclopédie de la parole has been exploring what is real through the medium of human language. This is the first time the collective has devised a family show, suitable for audiences aged 6 years and older.

Estimated running time: 1 hour / In French


Tickets for all performances are free; donations accepted. Ticket reservations are required; Reserve through University Ticketing online, in person at the Frist Campus Center Ticket Office, or by calling 609-258-9220.




Composed by Joris Lacoste
Directed by Emmanuelle Lafon
Performed by Anna Carlier

Sound design: Vladimir Kudryavtsev
Stage management and preparation: Laurent Mathias
Lighting: Daniel Levy
Tour stage manager: Philippe Montémont
Assistant director: Lucie Nicolas
Coordination of the sound documents collection: Valérie Louys
Collectors: Julie Lacoste, Armelle Dousset, Emmanuelle Lafon, Lucie Nicolas, Elise Simonet, and Valérie Louys
Production and distribution: Garance CrouillèreEchelle 1:1
IT-based musical collaboration: Ircam Augustin Muller

A production by Échelle 1:1 1 (a registered company under the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication / DRAC Ile-de-France).

Co-produced by La Villette (Paris) in partnership with Ligne Directe.

A co-production with La Villette (Paris); Le Volcan, scène nationale du Havre; Théâtre de Lorient-centre dramatique national; La Bâtie – Festival de Genève ; Théâtre L’Aire Libre; Les Spectacles vivants – Centre Pompidou (Paris); T2G – Théâtre de Gennevilliers; Festival d’Automne à Paris.

In association with Théâtre Paris-Villette ; La Villette (Paris) ; Festival d’Automne à Paris for performances at Théâtre Paris-Villette. In association with Les Spectacles vivants – Centre Pompidou (Paris); Théâtre de la Ville-Paris; Festival d’Automne à Paris for performances at Centre Pompidou. In association with T2G – Théâtre de Gennevilliers; Festival d’Automne à Paris for performances at T2G – Théâtre de Gennevilliers

With support from Ircam. Artists residency à La Villette (Paris), at Théâtre Paris-Villette.

First performed on September 9, 2017 at La Bâtie – Festival de Genève.

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Presented By

  • Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Cultural Services of the French Embassy
  • Humanities Council
  • Department of French and Italian
  • L’Avant-Scène