Entertainment: Avignon Festival: Olivier Py, "sad and melancholy" at the idea of ​​making his director's jacket, starts "with a feeling of accomplished duty"

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the Portuguese playwright Tiago Rodrigues will take his succession.

  Festival d'Avignon : Olivier Py, © supplied by Franceinfo

Olivier PY makes his deck of director of the Festival of Avignon after nine years at the head of this emblem of culture. Invited this Friday on France Inter, he said he was "sad and melancholy" but "with a feeling of accomplished duty". He describes his successor Tiago Rodrigues as "a man and an artist whom [he] admires". The actor, playwright and prolific director bequeathed to the Portuguese "the most beautiful thing in the world", the Avignon Festival.

"Our festival is the most beautiful thing in the world", estimates Olivier PY who leaves the head of the Avignon Festival #Le69inter Pic.twitter.com/uilpsnevxm

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- France Inter (@franceinter) July 29, 2022

"you have to give it everything, because it deserves everything, because it is unique, because it is an oasis of meaning", insists Olivier Py, convinced that "it is much more than a list shows ". "It is a community of spirits that meets for three weeks to believe that the world is beautiful, to create tools of combat, commitment, wonder, to create hope," adds-t -he.

The love of the theater "engaged" and "popular"

claiming the terms of theater "engaged" and "solidarity", Olivier Py does not hide his pride of having put in the spotlight of "very numerous Causes ", starting with culture," the first of the causes ", but also education, the rights of LGBT people or those of migrants. "Here and there what is happening in the world always resonates in Avignon," says the director.

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>> Olivier Py Hired director and defender of the "popular theater" farewell to the Avignon Festival

The now ex-director will have defended a "popular theater" and demand. "We are at this festival for 10 euros, in shorts and flip-flops and we can listen to the greatest poems of humanity," he sums up with passion. "A large part of our audience is not an elite, they are teachers and the teachers are heroes, fortunately we say it at the Avignon Festival," he continues.

A page that turns

after "500 shows, 3,000 curtain lifting", Olivier can come hard to remember a single highlight of his career, as there are, "it's a real kaleidoscope in my Head, "he jokes. "This festival was much more for me than a stage in my career, it was the central passion for my life," he said. "I devoted my life to the public theater, to the theater as a public service, and to the idea that culture must be a public service, so if I have the opportunity to continue, I will continue with great happiness", indicates the Director, concerning his upcoming projects, "a blank page" which he describes as "magnificent".

Olivier PY also promises to return to the Avignon Festival from next year "as a simple spectator". "I will be there, with all the happiness of being there, but without the concerns that make the vicissitudes of the life of a director", he savor, before concluding: "Long life at the festival!"

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