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Festival d'Avignon

16 novembre 2008 7 16 /11 /novembre /2008 22:10
The French National Assembly along with President Bernard Accoyer welcame last week the Comédie-Française to celebrate the huge European « Molière’s house » tour. The barnstorming is to take place during the French presidency of the European Council. The symbolic pregnance is obvious.

Until December, 31th, France will be in the heart of the European machine, as it provides the presidency of the EU Council. From January, 1st, it will switch to the Czech Republic. Right in the middle of the very numerous events linked to this presidency, or because of the current news (the credit crunch, the Russian-Georgian war, etc.) or thanks to a scheduled programme, culture holds a significant place. This is the reason why the Comédie-Française, which has been the symbol for dramatic culture for several centuries, is going to become European during a tour which will take place in 13 EU countries.

Those countries haven’t been selected by chance.  All are EU members which, only 20 years ago, were either on the bad side of the Iron curtain or in the satellite area of the Soviet Union (The Warsaw Pact) or else among the 15 union republics. The symbol is meaningful. A symbol of enlargement to borders that could not be anticipated only 10 years ago. A symbol of unity. The 27 unions, which are a synonym for pace, trade and sharing have helped the wall fall. Nowadays, EU is at the dawn of its destiny and makes the curtain rise.

Dramatic authors Molière and Spiro Scimone are those chosen by the Comédie-Française for this tour: the French dramatic tradition and the young Italian generation, hand in hand for this event. Along with a Bulgarian stage-manager, it results in a splendid melting pot of talents, referred to by Victor Hugo in 1849 when he talked about a united Europe regardless of borders. This Europe which the center of attention on November, 4th evening at French National Assembly. Six actors from the Comédie-Française indeed indulged in an amazing text reading about united Europe, some of which were written one century before Europe became a reality in 1956. There were texts by Lamartine, the famous poet who was also, even if one forgets it, a politician and a minister. There were texts by Victor Hugo who wrote about « The United States of Europe », the single common currency and the explosion of trade borders. There were also texts by Jan Patocka, one of the greatest Czech philosophers and defenders of Europe, who was persecuted until he died in 1977, a quarter of a century before his native country joined EU.

« Les Précieuses Ridicules » and « La Festa », both comical, farcical and sometimes incongruous plays, are going to travel across Europe. Across this Europe which works, this Europe which lives, this Europe which is getting larger and larger, this Europe which is continuously being built, this Europe which is getting united. This Europe which will, no doubt about that, result in a convulsing audience during the theatricals.

Franck BORTELLE (in collaboration with Faustine AMORE)


La Festa
Text :  Spiro Scimone
Translated by : Valeria Tasca
Stage manager : Galin Stoev
Artistic collaboration : Antoine Oppenheim
Scenography, costumes, lights and vidéo : Saskia Louwaard and Katrijn Baeten
With Catherine Hiegel, Gérard Giroudon, Serge Bagdassarian          

Les Précieuses ridicules
Text :  Molière
Stage manager : Dan Jemmett assisté de Mériam Korichi
Scenography : Denis Tisseraud assisté de Camille Lacombe
Costumes : Sylvie Martin Hyszka assistée de Nathalie Saulnier
Lights : Arnaud Jung
Make-up and hairdressing : Véronique Nguyen
With Catherine Ferran, Catherine Hiegel, Michel Favory, Andrzej Seweryn, Serge Bagdassarian, Florence Janas


Sofia (Bulgaria), 13 and 14 november 2008, National Theater Ivan Vazov
Bucharest (Romania), 19, 20 and 21 november 2008, Odeon Theater
Warsaw (Poland), 26 and 27 november 2008, Theater Narodowy
Bratislava (Slovakia), 14 and 15 december 2008, National Theater
Budapest (Hongria), 19 and 20 december 2008, National Theater
Ljubljana (Slovenia), 7 and 8 january 2009, National Theater
Prag (Czech republic), 14 and 15 january 2009, National Theater
Gdansk (Poland), 20 and 21 january 2009, Theater Wybrzeze
Vilnius (Lituanie), 29 and 30 january 2009, National dramatic Theater
Riga (Lettonia), 3 and 4 february 2009, Theater Dailes
Tallin (Estonia), 7 and 8 february 2009, Théâtre dramatique
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