Magie d’ombres et autres tours

Philippe Beau (France)

Hydro-Québec Auditorium

Four sequences of shadows and magic, interspersed with film excerpts, retrace the beginning of cinema, bringing it to life along with the fascination that many directors have had for this art of illusion.

The show focuses on shadows and magic and how they are connected by cinema. In the shadow sequences, Philippe Beau modernizes an ancient art, anchoring it in today's reality. The characters and the animals follow one another in a process called morphing. Faces emerge, thanks to the agile fingers of the artist. The shadows have a fantastic capacity to awaken the imagination of the viewer. These shadows haven’t lost any of their power.

Filmmakers from Bresson to Welles and from Méliès to Woody Allen, who have integrated magic in their works, are summoned. Philippe Beau dialogues with these masters of illusion through sequences mixing homage and creativity. Conceived of as a "mise en abyme," or image within an image, this solo show is an extraordinary reflection on the connections between image, shadow and illusion. Dramatic effects and incredible images follow one after the other in poetic and funny sketches.

About Philippe Beau

Ombromanie, or shadowgraphy, is the art of creating shadows with one’s hands, an ancient technique that’s been practiced for millenia and that first appeared onstage toward the end of the 19th century. Today, Philippe Beau is one of the very few practitioners of this unique art—there are only around 20 of them in the world. As a set designer, he designs shadowplay and lighting for a wide variety of productions from Hong Kong to Las Vegas via France and Québec. He regularly is asked to work with film and theatre directors, choreographers, advertisers and photographers. Among them are Robert Lepage, with whom he collaborated on his solo show 887, Cirque du Soleil’s Ka, Igor Stravinsky’s Rossignol, and Cœur. Philipe Beau has also collaborated with Crazy Horse Paris, Philippe Decouflé, Dior, Hermès and many others. Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman included several excerpts of his show in the film Crazy Horse.

8 years and up

Mar 9 to 12, 2023 — 60 minutes with no intermission $33 — $38


Photo - Antoine Dubroux
Photo - Antoine Dubroux
Photo - Antoine Dubroux
Photo - Antoine Dubroux
Photo - Antoine Dubroux
Photo - Antoine Dubroux
Photo - Antoine Dubroux
Photo - Antoine Dubroux

What People Are Saying...

« Ce spectacle emprunte une forme hybride qui n'a pas vraiment d'équivalent. »

La Presse

« Une lampe, un écran, deux mains à la dextérité éblouissante et l’illusion est parfaite. »

L’Union (France)

« Un ballet aussi féérique que bluffant, à ne pas manquer. »

L’Hebdo du vendredi (France)

« Une réussite artistique. »

Ouest Provence (France)

« On sort de ce spectacle totalement bercé d'illusions. Ça fait du bien. »

La Presse


Idea, Performance, Shadow Work and Magic Philippe Beau
Stage Manager Sebastien Hazebrouck

Delegated Production
La Comète, Scène nationale de Châlons-en-Champagne


  • Radio-Canada

Public Sponsors of the Programming

  • Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
  • Canada
  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • Ville de Québec