The director presents his ultimate programming on the theme “Once upon a time”. But the 76th edition remains connected to world news.
This is his ultimate program at the head of the Festival d’Avignon. But the 76th edition (July 7 to 26) will only be “neither summary nor commemorative” says Olivier Py. And if the theme “Once upon a time” appears timeless, world news will resonate as always in the 46 guest shows. In a time troubled by “false narratives, the colonization of memory, the falsification of heritage”Olivier Py brandishes the truth of the theatre, “just stories”.
Strange coincidence: chosen well before the war in Ukraine, the Russian Kirill Serebrennikov opens the festival in the Cour d’honneur with “Le moine noir” (a first version of which was given in Hamburg). Fierce opponent of Vladimir Putin, director, film director, Serebrennikov embodies a libertarian spirit which has earned him some setbacks in Russia. He returns for the fourth time to Avignon (we remember his caustic “Dead Souls” according to Gogol) by presenting a little-known short story by Chekhov from four different angles.
1 p.m. show
Solidarity with Ukraine is also expressed at the end when Olivier Py, as a farewell, will put on the sequined dress of Miss Knife – his cabaret double – sharing the stage with Angélique Kidjo and the Dakh Daughters, a punk group from Kyiv. Always hyperactive, Py signs another creation, “My exalted youth”, a river dialogue (about ten hours) between Harlequin and an old poet.
Tiago Rodrigues, his successor as director of the festival, is there too through his “Iphigénie” staged by Anne Théron at the Grand Avignon opera house. Closed since 2016, this strategic place will then host “La Tempesta” on which the Sardinian Alessandro Serra casts a critical eye in the light of colonialism. From Shakespeare we will also see “Richard II” edited by Christophe Rauck.
Alessandro Serra is coming to In d’Avignon for the first time, as are the Spaniards from El Conde de Torrefiel (“Une imagen interior”) or the young Simon Falguières who could create a nice surprise at La Fabrica with the marathon of this editing. Seventeen actors embody some sixty characters in “The Nest of Ashes” which intertwines for 13 hours “a world in danger and a world of dreams”.
Marie Vialle with the adaptation of a text by Pascal Quignard (“In this garden that we loved”) and Elise Vigier with a portrait of the writer Anaïs Nin brushed by Agnès Desarthe (“At the mirror”) brings literary touches . “One Song” by Miet Warlop creates the fourth episode of the fascinating “Histoire(s) de théâtre” initiated by Milo Rau (last year it was Angelica Liddell).
Those interested are very present with in particular a highly anticipated creation by Bashar Murkus whose “Museum” had made an impression. He returns to evoke the pain of women in a country at war (“Milk”).
The festival reserves a great place for dance. Jan Martens, who last year was Cour Saint Joseph, passed through the Cour d’honneur with fifteen dancers, two children and a harpsichordist (“Near Future”). Dada Masilo (“Sacrifice”), François Chaignaud and Geoffroy Jourdain (“Tumulus”), Maud Le Pladec (“Silent legacy”), Emmanuel Eggermont (“All over water lilies”) are the other headliners of the choreographic side.
Daniel Auteuil and Irene Jacob
Like every summer, France Culture invests the courtyard of the Calvet Museum in Avignon with a program of conferences and free radio shows live and in public. The presence, last year, of a few stars, Fabrice Lucchini and Omar Sy in particular, popularized these very popular meetings.
The presence of this Radio France branch in the next edition promises to be just as promising. Daniel Auteuil, a native of Avignon, offers his musical show “Déjeuner en l’air”. The actress Irène Jacob and the singer Keren Ann present “Where are you?”, a nice dialogue, a first version of which was born last year at the Théâtre de Sète during confinement. Rapper Sofiane, alias Fianso, adds diversity to these encounters.