French company founded in Angers in 1977, by Jacques Templeraud (Saumur, 1947). Théâtre Manarf (meaning “I don’t know” in Arabic) was one of the early promoters of object theatre in France. From the outset, Jacques Templeraud demonstrated a very personal style which could be adapted to fit a range of performance spaces, including the conventional stage, the street, cafes, and apartments. It incorporated a style of language used in satirical theatre, a gibberish with macaronic and onomatopoeic elements, known as “grammelot”. This was combined with mime and mimicry and with the use of objects taken from actors’ costumes or scenic elements.

Among Manarf productions are La Fille aux bras coupés (The Girl with Arms Cut Off, 1977); Paris bonjour (Hello, Paris, 1989); Intimes intimes (Intimate, Intimate, 1985); Giglo 1er (Giglo the First, 1987); Blanche-Neige (Snow White, 1989), an adaptation of Giulio Molnar; Gros maux d’amour (Big Love Hurts, 1993), inspired by L’Ange déchu (The Fallen Angel) by Per Olov Enquist; L’Amour, la mort itou (Love, Death Too, 1994), based on texts by Gaston Couté; and Pft fft fft (2000).

The company has collaborated with Charlot Lemoine (of Compagnie Vélo Théâtre), Giulio Molnar and Pierre Lecompte, Francesca Bettini, Catherine Poher and Eric Dérouet. Its bonds with Vélo Théâtre and the Compagnie Jo Bithume have been particularly productive.

(See France.)