“Monsieur Somebody”

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“Monsieur Somebody” by Seamus Collins

Rated 5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 2 reviews)
Theatraverse presents Monsieur Somebody, a bilingual (English/French) piece of absurd theatre, written by Northern Ireland’s Seamus Collins. This is a story so false it could almost be true.

Onstage, three characters incarcerated, incarnated by Lecoq-trained actors, recount their biggest cons.
Fiction and reality become one as they fantasise about their transgressions.
What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told? The biggest secret you’ve ever kept?
Claude the fraud is a deliciously despicable Frenchman that we love to hate, hate to love… But who could possibly love Claude?
An absurdly comic tale of betrayal, barbiturates and a brew.
Is this his real life? Is this just treachery? Caught in a web of lies, no escape from reality.

At a time when political and humanitarian crises have become near-normal everyday horrors, Claude’s story is one of just how far a Nobody will go to become a Somebody.



Madeleine and Charlie



Fiamma Bennett has been performing and devising dramatic and comic theatre for over 9 years and works in English, French, and Italian. She moved to Paris in 2008 and graduated from the International Theatre School, Jacques Lecoq in 2010. She stayed in Paris and continued to train, studying under Jos Houben, Paola Rizza, and Jack Waltzer.

She has played with some of her idols, including Jos Houben, Françoise Rivalland, Emily Wilson, Peter Brook and Rona Waddington, to name but a few. She has worked in some spectacular Parisian venues: Théâtre du Soleil, Lucernaire, and Les Bouffes du Nord. Her spectrum of emotions, her striking stage presence, and her comic talent have been expressed in a range of roles: Cordelia in King Lear, Hedda in Hedda Gabler, and the-girl-in-blue-tights-on-all-fours-with-coconuts-for-hoofs in Répertoire.

Although her heart belongs to the theatre, she is also drawn to the big screen. Since graduating, she has performed in a number of short films, and won the prize for Best Actress for the 24 hour Film Project in 2014 for her comic role in Kidnapping. She also filmed A Poem of a House for The National Trust.

Frank and Geo



Born in Amsterdam to an Indian father and a Dutch mother, Siva was brought up mainly in France, where he studied and worked in a variety of fields – including naval carpentry, IT, international commerce, and translation for NGOs – before beginning his onstage career.
After training for a number of years in the Paris region, Siva became a professional actor in 2002. With the Théâtre du Voyageur, he has played a wide range of roles in a dozen different plays, ranging from Shakespeare to devised plays inspired by non-theatrical texts.
As Siva’s career has progressed, he has been drawn to new challenges. He performed at Aurillac’s street theatre festival with Cie Grain d’ArtGile, and at Avignon summer festival with Cie Naphralytep.

With Theatraverse, Siva often performs in English: he played Jean in the bilingual adaptation of Rhinoceros, and The Man in Great Artists Steal, both of which were played at Edinburgh Festival. Siva develops and leads bilingual theatre workshops for children and young people, as well as for adults with Theatraverse.


Guillaume PAULETTE

Guillaume PAULETTE


Guillaume graduated from the International Theatre School, Jacques Lecoq in 2008 and has trained under Christian Carrignon at Théâtre de Cuisine, and Michel Chiron of CNR in Amiens, as well as Alain Gautré. He has also trained in Commedia dell'arte, object theatre, and singing.
Guillaume has worked extensively in the Picardy region, with the Théâtre du Lin, Cie Eclats d'Etats, Cie Car à Pattes, and Cie du Chahut (Oise). He performed recently in Pas de Pardon by Roger Wallet (Avignon 2015), and played Philinte in Le Misanthrope for Compagnie les gOsses.
He also works in the Paris region, notably performing in Faisons un rêve by Guitry, and for some televised series. He has been working with Theatraverse since 2011, and played Bérenger in Rhinocéros by Ionesco (Edinburgh 2012 – Belfast 2013).
He is the artistic director of Cie Grain d’ArtGile, which he cofounded in 2008; the company’s notable productions include Rhinos in the Street. Guillaume also directs and leads workshops for schools and for adults.


Joanne ALLAN

Joanne ALLAN


Joanne is a theatre director and actor who trained at l’Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She is particularly attentive to the role of language in onstage communication and specialises in Theatre of the Absurd. Joanne, originally from Aberdeenshire in Scotland, graduated in 2006 from Queen's University, Belfast with a joint honours degree in Drama and French. In 2005 she directed her first piece of bilingual theatre at the university: La Leçon (The Lesson) by Eugène Ionesco.

Joanne is one of the founding members of Theatraverse. Since the company’s creation in 2008, Joanne has directed and accompanied four bilingual productions on tour: Lost in Scotland, a devised play inspired by Isabelle Gilbert’s book of the same title; Rhinocéros, a bilingual adaptation of Ionesco’s original; Great Artists Steal and Monsieur Somebody, both by Seamus Collins.

The plays she has directed have toured in the UK and France, and are accompanied by bilingual theatre workshops. Joanne creates and leads bilingual theatre workshops and training days for children, young people, and adults. She also gives talks and leads discussions about bilingual theatre in the context of interviews and conferences.

Outwith Theatraverse, Joanne works as an actor and director for Cie Grain d’ArtGile in Amiens, and Theatre du Voyageur in the Paris region.


Mikayil QUENUM

Mikayil QUENUM


Written by




Seamus has written plays for Belfast theatre companies Tinderbox and Chatterbox. Following his participation in the Fireworks programme for young writers, organised by Tinderbox, Seamus was asked to write Swing State Cabaret and Home Truths, both of which were performed at the prestigious MAC Theatre, Belfast. Four of Seamus’ plays have been performed at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival, including Great Artists Steal, performed by Theatraverse.

Seamus has a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Queen's University, Belfast, and has been closely mentored by Owen McCafferty for several years. He is currently writing a play for the Lyric Theatre as part of their “New Playwrights Programme”. The first reading of his most recent play was directed by Des Kennedy in October 2017.

Recently chosen as one of 30 playwright’s for Fishamble’s “A Play for Ireland”, Seamus has also been selected for BBC NI’s new “Northern Irish Voices” scheme.

“Monsieur Somebody” is supported by an international team of professionnels, often volunteers

  • Set and lighting design : Mathieu Mottet
  • Literary advice : Dr Manu Bragança, University College Dublin
  • Artistic advice : Vincent Perreira
  • Marketing : Hamish Davey Wright
  • Video and photography : Farid Cherqaoui
  • Graphic design : Bénédicte Pérreira do Lago

In the press

“This fascinating play will appeal to you if you want to see excellent acting, creative theatre, a story with intrigue, conflict, wry humour, wit, and the bonus of bilingual language. Monsieur Somebody is an intriguing new play that is provocative and entertaining – Highly Recommended!” (Cette pièce fascinante vous plaira si vous souhaitez voir des comédiens excellents, du théâtre créatif, une histoire avec intrigue, du conflit, de l’humour noir, de l’esprit et le bonus d’être bilingue. Monsieur Somebody est une nouvelle pièce intriguante qui est provocatrice et amusante – vivement recommandée !)”

Fringe Review

“The French/English bilingualism of the text is nicely balanced and director Joanne Allan and designers Mathieu Mottet and Kasi have created a skilfully flowing piece” (L’équilibre linguistique du texte bilingue, français/anglais, est juste et la metteur en scène Joanne Allan a créée avec les scènographes Mathieu Mottet et Kasi une pièce fluide et habile.)”

The Scotsman

“Monsieur Somebody [is an] enjoyable and amusing play, thanks to the compelling acting and contagious enthusiasm of the three performers.” (Monsieur Somebody est une pièce amusante grâce au jeu d’acteur convaincant et l’enthousiasme contagieux des trois comédiens.)”

The List

“Energetic and entertaining; absurdist bilingual show about lies and blurred lines between truth and fiction. Totally accessible whether you speak French or not” (Plein d’énergie et amusant : c’est un spectacle absurde bilingue au sujet des mensonges et des lignes floues entre vérité et fiction. Complètement abordable même si on ne comprend pas le français.)”
Kirsteen Neale

Our partners for the event

Special thanks

  • Catherine Margerin
  • Christine Bover
  • Françoise Maréchal


Upcoming events

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For more details about this play, please download the information pack.


Average score

Rated 5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 2 reviews)
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Published reviews

Lots of cringeworthy fun!

Rated 5.0 out of 5
8 September 2019

I enjoyed myself immensely watching these three actors doff their prison duds only to don completely different personas. With the use of minimal but clever props, the actors and direction engage the spectator in the inner workings of a devious mind, where we are in on a secret, but left sitting on our hands, biting our tongues. Really well done!


Just brilliant

Rated 5.0 out of 5
6 September 2019

This was my first visit to Joanne’s performance as director for Theatraverse. Well I have to say Just Brilliant. This is a great performance and the actors were perfect. I did not expect what I experienced. Seamus Collins deserves credit for his originality in writing this work of art.

Donald Allan

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