The music of Les Cowboys Fringants adapted into a musical

The music by Les Cowboys Fringants adapted as a musical

The characters of the cult group will come to life in the musical “Pub Royal”, presented from December.

The characters inhabiting the imagination of Les Cowboys Fringants will come to life in the musical Pub Royal, an idea and a creation of 7doigts de la main. 

Merging music, dance, circus and projections, the atypical show brings together 11 songs from the cult group, taken from their entire discography, to which are added “4 or 5” new tunes, which the main songwriter of the formation, Jean -François Pauzé, also a guitarist, wrote to measure in order to make the bridge between certain songs. 

“These are already mastepieces“, says the director Sébastien Soldevila, from the 7doigts de la main, to the media gathered at Place des Arts, where this joyful ordeal will take off in December. 

The author Olivier Kemeid, for his part, signs the dialogues of the show, where we will see about twenty performers, dancers and acrobats at work. And acrobatics, there are quite a few, says Sébastien.  

The music of Les Cowboys Fringants adapted as a musical

The atypical musical comedy Pub Royal , created by Les 7 doigts de la main, brings together 11 songs from the Cowboys Fringants repertoire, in addition to a few new tunes that the group's main songwriter, Jean-François Pauzé, wrote to measure for the show. Image: La Tribu

In the inside the Royal Pub 

So what's going on at the Royal Pub, named after 'a Cowboys song from their album October, published in 2015? Basically, a guy unexpectedly finds himself at the bar, where he will make decisive encounters that will change his life. 

But impossible to reveal more about the “twists” that will occur behind closed doors, says the director for fear of spoiling the audience's enjoyment. 

“A story has been shaped through recurring themes and characters in our work, but this is a whole new story” , explains the band's bassist, Jérôme Dupras, in an interview with Métro

Among the songs that the circus company has selected from the Cowboys Fringants repertoire, some are essentials, while others are titles that “the Cowboys would not have seen at first glance, but which fit in with the 'story', adds the musician.  

The texts of the songs remain intact, but the structures of the compositions or their tones can change in order to adapt to the numbers on stage or to the performers, notes Jérôme. 

One of a Kind Musical 

​​Jean-François Pauzé, who acts as musical director, admits to the media that he was initially dubious about the idea of ​​​​making a musical, a year and a half ago, when it germinated among the 7fingers of the hand.  

“I wondered what I was getting myself into. Even after the first meeting, I still wondered, he admits. It was vague for me, it was a universe that I knew less. I've been writing for the Cowboys for over 25 years. It was getting out of my cowboy slippers. It built up over time. ” 

“It was not automatic, not innate that it was going to be a musical, confirms Jérôme. It could have been a circus, an installation…»  

By dint of reflection, Sébastien Soldevila had the idea of ​​taking advantage of the format of the musical, but of creating “an anti-musical, a little punk, by destroying the codes to bring their universes closer”, says the bassist. This burst proposal won over the group, which shot the film America is crying outside during the pandemic. 

And it was important to the group that the narrative framework not be reduced to the beautiful facets of the human being, but that it also shows the most fragmented and marginal, “which is the reflection of our songs”, underlines Jérôme. 

“When we listen to the songs of the Cowboys, sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry, sometimes we are in love, sometimes we are militant. The Pub Royal is the antechamber to this range of themes and emotions that are found in our songs. It was important that these plural universes be represented in the story. »  

Les 7doigts de la main, “it’s not a machine for producing musicals, it’s a team of creators who, sometimes, take different paths, he adds. We trust them. And to date, it's only a cakewalk.” 

The music of Les Cowboys Fringants adapted as a musical

Les Cowboys Fringants on stage at the Mile Ex End festival in 2019. Photo: Villedepluie

A “gift”< /strong> 

Today, the project thrills Jean-François Pauzé to the highest degree, delight shared by his accomplices Marie -Annick Lépine, Karl Tremblay and Jérôme Dupras, he said.  

“It haunts me, it overwhelms me, that's all I think about! », launches the winner of the award for songwriter of the year at the SOCAN Gala in 2020. 

Rehearsals have begun, and Jean-François, who is currently finishing the unreleased songs from Pub Royal, has remained “stuck” to the interpretations he has heard so far. 

In his eyes, this project is a real “gift” , while the Cowboys Fringants had slowed down their activities over the past year due to the medical treatment of the singer, Karl, who announced last July that he had prostate cancer.  
< br>There is no doubt that it is also a high mass not to be missed for the fans of the group.  

Pub Royal will take off next December at the Théâtre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts to then be presented in Quebec, then in French-speaking Europe in 2024, within a gigantic pool of followers outside Quebec. 


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