I have saved the best till last with my series of blog posts about Puy du Fou. La Cinéscénie is hailed as ‘the greatest night show in the world’ and having experienced it for myself – I can see why.
Imagine a live production of 90 minutes on a 23 hectare set performed by 2400 actors, 28,000 costumes; 850 fireworks per show, 30 free flying drones, 3000 projectors and a sweeping musical score to enchant 13,200 spectators on each and every performance. The show takes place every Friday and Saturday night during the summer months – regardless of the weather. It starts at 10.30pm to ensure darkness all around making the dramatic scenes, music and dazzling lights even more impactful
The video below from Puy du Fou helps to show the sheer scale of the experience:
The story of La Cinéscénie encapsulates the history of the Vendée – the largest counter-revolutionary uprising of the French Revolution. The history of the Vendée Wars was not written by the victors, it was completely written out of French history, and until recently denied by the French government. The war was the first ‘total war’ in modern history, in which men, women and children were involved and La Cinéscénie depicts this well – using male, female and child actors and volunteers from the local region who aspire to be part of this show. It is an honour locally to perform, and you can see why – to be part of something so magnificent.
This spectacular night time show enjoys extraordinary special effects – a carousel sitting on the water? The sky becomes pin-striped! I kid you not – a famous quote by William Arthur Ward is: “If you can imagine it, you can do it” and Puy du Fou is not lacking in imagination! Just as you think you cannot be surprised or delighted – they do it again and again!
The original music is written by Hollywood composer Nick Glennis-Smith and the greatest French actors (including Gérard Depardieu!) have lent their voices to the show. I was enchanted and amazed by the powerful play. I didn’t understand a word they were saying as I chose not to use my translation headset for this show and just immerse myself in the moment, but the music, acting and special effects swept me up so I could get the gist of what was going on!
Puy du Fou is incredibly popular in France but still currently a bit of a secret here in the UK despite attracting more than two and a half million visitors every year. However with the artistic excellence on show here and the way they capture your heart, I can’t see it staying a secret for very long! I highly recommend a visit to Puy du Fou with your family. There’s something there for everyone, no matter what age and the memories you make at Puy du Fou will stay with you for a lifetime.