Pilou – Vive la France

By Christina Nyman

Pilou… Pilou? Pilou!

Photo By Claude Piscitelli

Since the 5th of August 2006 magicians all over the world know about Pilou’s magic. And most recently, Pilou won the SARMOTI award from “Siegfried and Roy’s the 2007 World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas . Additionally, at the 23rd FISM convention in Stockholm this young French magician was awarded the Grand Prix, Stage. This was no doubt an incredible individual achievement, but it also signified a national achievement for France . This is the fourth time the prestigious Grand Prix title has been given to a French magician (Pierre Brahma 1964 in Barcelona and 1976 in Vienna, and Norbert Ferré 2003 in Den Haag).

At the "Foire des Magiciens" held in October in Esch/Alzette in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg – a small country embedded like a jewel at the heart of Europe – I got an opportunity to talk to this sympathetic magician during a pause backstage.

Christina and Pilou
Photo By Jim Seiwerath

The "Foire des Magiciens" is on one hand a small, traditional magic convention with lectures, dealers, youth stage competition and a gala. But on the other hand we offer parallel activities for laypeople during a whole day to promote magic as entertainment, and we have a lot of laypeople in the audience at the competition and the gala. Pilou had traveled to Luxembourg to perform in the gala show.

Pilou has been working on his FISM winning act for about 1,5 – 2 years. He has put a lot of time and reflection into his act. Although the character and the theme have remained unmodified since the beginning, Pilou has made many changes in the act during this working period.

Pilou’s stage character is a vivid portrait of Gavroche from Victor Hugo’s novel Les Miserables. Victor Hugo (26th of February 1802 – 22nd of May 1885) is considered as the most influential Romantic writer of the 19th century, and his political and social engagement is present in his works.

When Pilou sits sprawled over his barrel and leaps over the stage in his beret and street clothes while doing manipulations with apples, newspapers, playing cards, apples, his own shoes and some more apples – props that the orphan Gavroche has found in the streets – I think he is a living incarnation of the following quotation from Les Miserables:

Photo By Claude Piscitelli