Pierre Mayer


In 1986, fresh out of drama school, Pierre was cast in the limelight of Montreal’s famed “Théâtre de la Licorne.” Fascinated by physical and character roles, the 24-year-old actor was offered to play The Screw, a character twice his age, in John Herbert’s now classic Aux yeux des hommes [Fortune and Men’s Eyes]. In the same period, Pierre discovers the art of pantomime, and becomes enthralled by Charlie Chaplin’s cinematic universe—his larger-than-life characters emerging out of the pure British burlesque tradition. Thus began his lifelong study of Chaplin’s art.

In 2011, Les Jeunesses musicales du Canada cast him as old Scrooge in Dicken’s classic Le conte de Noël [A Christmas Carol]. There, Pierre met cellist Julie Hereish, and the idea of Charlot et Mlle Cello was born. In 2014, Pierre had the opportunity to perform as The Tramp, Chaplin’s legendary character, for director Eugene Chaplin, Charlie’s son. Shortly after, Pierre was granted the license, from the Chaplin estate, to use Charles’s music and perform in his character. A few months later, Charlot et Mlle Cello came to life at Montreal’s Théâtre Les Écuries. The production then toured the Maisons de la Culture as well as schools across the province. In October 2017, a symphonic version of the show was created with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec. In 2019, Switzerland, the country that Charlie Chaplin eventually called home, celebrated the 130th anniversary of his birth. For this occasion, Pierre and Julie were invited to perform their orchestral homage to Chaplin at Victoria Hall, in Geneva.