The horse-drawn carriage that was part of the show, just coming out of the stables prior to going on.
The play we saw took place in the castle's courtyard. It involved the house servants preparing to put on a show (a play-within-a-play, that old device) for the master of the house, Prince Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord. Or just plain Talleyrand, pour les intimes. The horse and carriage that you see above made its way into the courtyard and circled around a couple of times before parking off to the side. Very dramatic.
After a very slow start (fifteen minutes that seemed like an hour), the actors plucked a member of the audience out of the crowd, put a wig on him, gave him a cane (Talleyrand had a limp) and sat him in a chair to watch their "rehearsal" as a stand-in for Talleyrand. During an elaborately choreographed segment, the actors "built" their stage set by manipulating the various other set pieces, the largest being a farm wagon that they converted into an interior stairway, complete with a fireplace and a balcony.
As the play-within-the-play unfolded, we found out it was about mistaken identity and presumed infidelity and it ended with a dashing sword duel, to the delight of Julia and Conor who, by all appearances, were bored to tears with everything that went before.
I was bored to tears as well, even though I could understand the French. But the sword fight was lively and fun and it made up for having to sit through all the rest.
I didn't take any photos during the play, unfortunately, so you'll have to use your imagination. Or better yet, come visit Valençay in the summer!