Meningue interprets diverse roles as clown and actor
in his four operas and in the intermezzo in an act from Samuel Beckett.

Shows currently performing, planned schedules.

Tour dates
  • 1 January 2023 - Teatro dell'Iride di Petritoli - Marche-Italia ()
  • 29 December 2022 - 31 December 2022 - Teatro delle marche ()

Music by G.B Pergolesi

Vespone is interpreted by Méningue

From the book by Gennaro Antonio Federico it was shown for the first time at the San Bartolomeo theatre in Naples on the 28th August, 1733. Its representation at the Paris Opera in 1752 unleashed the famous “quarrel of fools”. The stage director, Henning Brockhaus, chose to show it in the form of a musical comedy set in an old circus and interrupted by a “Mimodrama”: an act without words by Samuel Beckett in 1956, interpreted by Méningue in the role of “Un Uomo” (A Man).

La Serva Padrona is a celebrated amusing intermezzo by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.

The story is told in few words.The servant Serpina, wants to become the lady of the house and knowing her old master, Uberto’s erotic weaknesses, contrives a plot to convince him despite everything, to marry her.

And then there is a character who we haven’t yet spoken about, the mute, Vespone. His position in society is unclear. He appears to be a sort of jack of all trades but he is more than that.The invention of this character is another stroke of genius because he serves as a buffer betwen Serpina and Uberto. Henning Brockhaus.

Conductor : Corrado Rovaris
Stage Director : Henning Brockhaus
Serpina : Alessandra Marianelli
Uberto : Carlo Lepore
Vespone : Jean Méningue
Sets: Benito Leonardi
Costumes : Giancarlo Colis
Ligthing : Alessandro Carletti
It was created for the eleventh edition of the Pergolesi Spontini festival in Jesi, in September 2011.
It was created initially for the fourth edition in 2004.

In Jesi, the great protagonist, the French mime, Jean Méningue in "Serva Padrona" meets Samuel Beckett – the Pergolesi masterpiece with the direction of Brockhaus… However it is Méningue who is the authentic madman of the evening. With extraordinary acting ability, he portrays Vespone as little more than a mute mask and taking the only character from Beckett's work, he has given it all the strike-them-dead elasticity and in its disturbing dramatic subtext.
Giulia Vannoni, September 2011
The gap between Pergolesi and Beckett is Vespone, alias the circus clown from "La Serva Padrona". It is a pleasantly surreal circus where Uberto is a lion tamer tamed by a cunning Serpina who makes harmless jokes about her loved one.She teases him but without malice and into this game comes Vespone. He becomes the protagonist of the "Theatre of the Absurd" then returns to the reassuring convention of seventh century theatre. It is nothing and yet it is all. But the real protagonist is Jean Méningue whose Vespone was a mime in the 2004 show. On this occasion he is both Vespone and "Un Uomo" as an absorbing sensational actor who shows himself in command of the role and transports the audience, who readily give him an enthusiastic applause, a suitable end to an evening at the opera.
Giancarlo Landini, November 2011
Alessandra Marianelli and Carlo Lepore are without reproach, the first with a clear voice that is flawless; the second a good singer and actor full of verve. But the true hero of the evening is Jean Ménigault alias Méningue: this French multi-talented artist (clown, mime, dancer, juggler...) charismatic and commited actor, dominates the scene both in Vespone and as the protagonist in "Act without words I".
Giancarlo Landini, December 2011