I’m on my first Blog for the site and already I’m breaking the rules. Because here we are in the Morbihan and, already, I’m dragging you away to the Côtes d’Armor. That is to say, to “Le Pays de Conomor”, but there’s a very good reason. Because this you will not want to miss…
The Abbey of Bon Repos in the Pays de Conomor
Whatever brings you to Brittany, a holiday, or having escaped the gravitational pull of the UK for good: do not miss the son et lumière présentation at the Abbey of Bon Repos. Those behind this extravaganza have entitled this show “Le Pays de Conomor”.
For me, if one thing sums up the enthusiasm and passion the Bretons have for their region of France, it is this event: 400 “actors”, 50 horses and a pack of hounds on a stage entertain crowds during the first fortnight every August. The stage is probably 1/4 of a mile wide. It consists of a thatched village, the abbey itself and a mock castle. Collectively they certainly become the centre of attention for the 1,000 strong audience. The crowd is enthralled from 10.15ish pm (depending on the right level of darkness) through until around midnight. If the weather is good it is truly magical. However, if it rains – it is well…wet! But it is still pretty magical!
We are serial attendees. And, be warned – it IS habit forming.
For instance, you will be a witness to: Life in Stone Age Brittany, The sacking of the village by the Romans and The building of the Nantes/Brest Canal. You can observe Brittany’s Aristocracy at play. It includes a hunt with a pack of baying hounds as well as a full medieval joust. They even make it snow over the village! All of ancient Breton life is here. Like I said, if the weather is kind, it’s the best night out you can have.
Arrive at around 8 pm and add to your enjoyment by picnicking on the banks of the Nantes/Brest Canal before the performance. I’m not really giving any secrets of the performance away by telling you that the finale is the burning down of the abbey. You just have to see it to believe it. The whole cast forms a procession through the performance area during this amazing conclusion. They carry torches, alongside stilt walkers, fire eaters and fanfares from a six strong group playing hunting horns. The harmonies are amazing. You can buy tickets for Le Pays de Conomor on-line.
See you there! I’ll be the one trying incessantly to take a decent photograph without using flash. Unfortunately (and quite obviously) it’s not allowed! Well can you imagine how annoying it would be, whilst watching this extravaganza, to have some wazz with his flash going off 20 to the dozen? Gallic expletives come to mind!
Oh, and by the way – not that my French is quite good enough to understand quite all he says…but there is a smooth talking Gaul who handles the voice-over throughout the performance. As a result, my missus goes weak at the knees every time he kicks off the evening…For my money he sounds a lot like the bloke from the Cointreau ads. Remember him? “And – fine French Brandy”.