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All you need to know

  • Centre Pénitentiaire Avignon-le Pontet - Olivier Py

    Avignon

    Performances of Hamlet are contingent on leaves granted a few days beforehand by the judicial authority. In the event that a performance would have to be cancelled, ticket-holders would be personally notified.

  • > Maison Jean Vilar

    Running time 1h15

  • Due to the particular nature of this project (free and with a very limited number of tickets), spectators will be able to register starting on 12 June on the internet (in the "My account" tab of the website) and at the box office of the Cloître Saint-Denis. In the interests of fairness, tickets will be attributed at random on 1 July, and spectators will be personally notified.

 

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Images

Hamlet © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Hamlet © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Hamlet © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Hamlet © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Hamlet © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Hamlet © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Hamlet © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Hamlet © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

 

Presentation

  • On 8 July 2016, the inmates of the prison of Avignon-Le Pontet perform Hamlet in the prison's gymnasium. Months earlier, they registered for a dramatic creation workshop led by Olivier Py, unsure whether this adventure would survive the everyday reality of prison, but on this day they're asked to take a curtain call. The audience, made up of prisoners, staff, and politicians, are moved by their tight version of Shakespeare's masterpiece. Rallying around the cry of “Free Hamlet!”, some aren't afraid to express their desire to see this adventure continue beyond the walls of the prison, next summer, during the Festival d'Avignon itself. All want a wider audience to share this intense version, rewritten “without blind spots” by the director, performed by ten men dressed just liked them and who bravely open up on a bare stage. “It would be amazing,” says the actor playing Claudius. A year later, their dream is within reach: the inmates on leave taking part in this human and artistic adventure will perform at the Maison Jean Vilar, on their very own stage. An unprecedented situation? “When I hear the trumpets of the Festival d'Avignon in prison, it's also unprecedented. Yet I feel like I'm at the very heart of our project of popular theatre: creating bonds,” says Olivier Py.

     

    Centre Pénitentiaire d'Avignon-Le Pontet
    As part of its policy to make culture accessible to everyone, the Festival d'Avignon has developed since 2004 a partnership with the prison of Avignon-Le Pontet. In 2014, on Olivier Py's initiative, this partnership intensified with the opening of a workshop he co-directed with Enzo Verdet. Since then, he has directed three plays for and with the inmates: Prometheus Bound (2015), Hamlet (2016), and Antigone (2017). Olivier Py's project hasn't been beneficial to the sole participants of the workshop, either. In 2015, rehearsals of Prometheus Unbound with the amateur actors were filmed by members of the video workshop. They then filmed the performance of the play, before doing the same with Hamlet the following year. In 2016, the two movies retracing the adventure of Prometheus in prison found their place in the Nave of Images where are shown the audiovisual treasures of the Festival d'Avignon, dating back to 1947. A programme that revisits the major moments in the history of the most important and oldest cultural manifestation in the world, whose wide-reaching work is often ignored.

     

    Olivier Py
    Director for the theatre and the opera, dramatist, film director, but also actor and poet, Olivier Py is a key player in the world of modern theatre. Born in Grasse in 1965, he joined the Conservatoire national supérieur d'art dramatique in Paris in 1987. The following year, he wrote his first play, Des Oranges et des Ongles (Of Oranges and Nails). In 1997, he became director of the Centre dramatique national in Orléans, which he left in 2007 for the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe. In 2013, he became the first theatre director to be named director of the Festival d'Avignon since Jean Vilar. His political engagement has translated into adaptations of plays in which politics take centre stage, such as Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes, The Suppliants, The Persians, and Prometheus Bound, Shakespeare's King Lear, or his own plays like Requiem pour Srebrenica or Adagio [Mitterrand, le secret de la mort]... In January 2017, at the FabricA of the Festival d'Avignon, he asked the students of Avignon and its region to reflect on the Syrian situation as part of a project called “Et vous, Alep ?” (“What does Aleppo mean to you?”). Wherever he goes, on whatever stage, Olivier Py regularly speaks out about cultural policies in France and in Europe, against the rise of fascism, and to denounce all forms of social and humanitarian injustice.

  • Distribution

    Text William Shakespeare, Olivier Py
    Theatrical creation workshops led by Olivier Py, Enzo Verdet

    With the participants of the theater workshop Andria, Choukri, Hakim, Jean-Michel, Maamar, Paulu Pierre-Eric, Sylvain, Yannis, Youcef

    Production

    Production Festival d'Avignon
    With the support of Fondation M6, Fonds interministériel de prévention de la délinquance / Ministère de l'Intérieur

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On tour

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  • Show
  • The Parisians

    • La FabricA
    • Running time 4h30 approx. including intermission