The Last Show on Earth

In a nod to Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth, Archaos wanted to convey the idea that the company was at the cusp between the end of the traditional circus and the birth of the contemporary circus. This work is in harmony with the underlying philosophy of Archaos: “From chaos comes genesis”.

In 1989 in Great Britain, the show won The Best Name prize for the outstanding artistic performance, and it went on to tour festivals in Europe, Australia, and Hong Kong.

© Philippe Cibille

© Philippe Cibille

© Philippe Cibille

© Philippe Cibille

© Philippe Cibille

© Philippe Cibille

Production Information

Authors: Pierrot Bidon and Guy Carrara
Director: Pierrot Bidon

Artists: Didier André, Emmanuel Beraud-Dufour, Michael dos Santos Rodrigues, Nordin Bekri, Fabien Bisbal Alberola, Hector Fabio Cobo Plata, Prolix-Pascal Dusoir, Max-Fernand Gegoud, Lionel Hassin, Leif Lewis, Sophie Kantorowich, Jason Kovach, Johann Le Guillerm, Kamel Nedjar, Ana Rache de Andrade, Raquel Rache de Andrade, Yacinthe Reich, Lee Rickler, Isabelle Servais, Felicity Simpson, Jean-Pierre Venet, Pascalito- Pascal Voinet, Sabine Rieck, Martin Van Brach, Olie-Olivier Groszer, Fernand Gegout, Lee Rickler, Ratze Borgwardt, Dirk Steinhausen

Musicians: Pierre Billon, Laurent Attali, Saxy - Laurent Georges, Pascal Fernandez

Sound technician: Frederic Beraud Dufour
Light technician: Sarah Filmer Sankey
Stage technician: Stephane Laisné

Media Coverage

“Archaos, The Last Show on Earth: French Circus group wins the Express Fringe award… As administrators of Edinburgh Festival celebrated the group’s win — despite fierce competition from 8000 other performances — Pierrot Bidon said: ‘We are thrilled with the hospitality and warmth of the people of Scotland…’”
– James Taylor, The Daily Express, 31 August 1989

“The Last Show on Earth by Archaos won the best show of the year... Every year, The Daily Express newspaper awards ‘The Best Name’ prize for the best show of the year chosen from among some 8000 creations... Archaos received The Best Name award from the Mayor of Edinburgh, along with a cheque for 10 000 francs, which the character circus immediately turned into a donation for the creation of a foundation that will eventually lead to the establishment of a circus school, the first of its kind in Scotland…”
– En direct d’Edimbourg, Midi Libre, 27 September 1989

“Archaos, it really gets you going... Not to be missed under any circumstances… They’re mafiosi unless they’re punks. The rise and fall of Rome... Archaos. Art-chaos. Art-K.O… [The company] just triumphed in London, where they played to sold-out houses... Archaos can’t be told, it can only be tasted. It’s an astonishing, explosive cocktail. Dada. Tati, Buñuel, Fellini, Hellzappopin’. Laughter reigns supreme in this sumptuously musical caper... We laugh out loud, gulping down the miasma of a broken civilization... You won’t come away from this hullabaloo unscathed. But, oh divine surprise, you’ll leave it as happy as ever...”
– Jacques Sylvain, Sud Ouest, 15 November 1989

“Archaos... The Last Show on Earth... Alternative circus... A show close to the origins... At the head of the tribe, Guy Carrara and Pierrot Bidon: ‘At the start, we asked ourselves the question: are we called a circus or not? Because the circus has a bad image. Our show is the most traditional there is, close to the roots, to what was practiced 200 years ago... When we use violence, it’s to make fun of it. The different scenes are about violence or love... Every year, we choose a theme for a new show... This one is based on love and tenderness.’... Archaos has split into two troupes, one of which is presenting The Last Show on Earth in the USA and on the Australian continent, while the Bouinax group will continue to tour Europe...”
– Pascaline Dussurget, Lyon Culture, 15 December 1989

“Archaos, the Grand Destroy Circus... Sigma got off to a flying start with Archaos, a revisited and revised punk creation... The acts are madcap and absurd without losing any of the spectacular touch... Combining a perfect mastery of circus techniques with a spirit of derision and a sense of appropriation worthy of the Marx Brothers... The party is a success, and the natural descendants of Aligre and Grand Magic Circus won over an audience that was left begging for more...”
– Valérie de Saint-Do, Courrier Français du Dimanche, November 1989

“Archaos 89... begins like a Roman orgy in a kitschy Archaos-style peplum, then the numbers follow one another at a breathtaking pace... We laugh, we scream, we rub our eyes in amazement... The women are dressed like B-movie starlets and the men wear candy-pink tutus. Irresistible... In 1990, the Archaos craze went global. And so much the better!”
– L’Humanité, 1989

“Raquel Rache de Andrade, a delightful acrobat... Charming, 25 years old, this dancer and actress left her native Brazil (her mother is a psychoanalyst, her father an engineer) to work at Archaos after having attended circus school... Raquel nails the routines, it’s a foundation of her profession. Full of energy, as much in her floor acrobatics as on the pole, she has an unshakeable determination and strength of conviction... ‘When you fall here, you hurt yourself. I’ve done dance and theater, it’s not at all the same risk, even if it’s the same physical requirements... In the circus, the pleasure is immense, different from theater because it’s a burst of adrenalin. It’s a simplistic comparison, but it’s like an act of physical love, when you decide, or when what happens makes you decide to give in...’”
– Interview by M.C.V , Libération, 13 December 1989

“Archaos… Art, anarchy and chaos. Mad Max in the Thunderdome was never so exciting.”
– The Standard

“Archaos… Exhilarating, dangerous and theatrically hard to equal.”
– The Guardian

“Archaos… Raw circus rather than tinseled tiredness.”
– What’s On In London

“Archaos… Quite elderly and apparently respectable German ladies looked ready for absolutely anything long before the end.”
– Time Out