the Comédie-Française and a play on Alzheimer’s rewarded
The 34th Molières ceremony, held Monday at the Théâtre de Paris, saw the Comédie-Française triumph with the “Bourgeois gentleman”, while the play “Oublie-moi”, a nugget created at the “off” of Avignon evoking Alzheimer’s disease, won three statuettes. The evening, which was intended to be shorter and more rhythmic than usual, was also marked by an intervention by the Minister of Culture in response to two artists who questioned her on the pension reforms.
Art and politics for the high mass of French theatre. The Molières crowned the Comédie-Française on Monday April 24 for a delirious production of the “Bourgeois gentleman”, as well as a moving play on Alzheimer’s disease created at the “off” in Avignon. This 34e edition was also marked by a speech by the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul-Malak, present in the room. She defended her record against two artists who challenged her on stage regarding pension reform.
“Today, there is a Ministry of Culture which loudly defends the French cultural exception, which defends the system of intermittence which is a source of pride for our country. You have a ministry which has provided massive aid during the (health) crisis to support you all”, hammered the minister.
Just before the evening, a few dozen demonstrators equipped with pots and pans had gathered in front of the Théâtre de Paris to protest against the reform, at the call of the CGT Spectacle.
The ceremony was also marked by the tribute of the Franco-Iranian playwright Aïda Asgharzadeh to the “revolution in Iran”, urging the room to dance briefly in support of five women detained for having danced in “crop top” and whose video – which went viral on TikTok – was broadcast on a giant screen.
Aïda Asgharzadeh was awarded the prize for the best living French-speaking author for her play “Persian Dolls”, which is freely inspired by the story of her parents, who were politically engaged against the Shah before they fled the country with the establishment of the Islamic regime.
“In France, we must support the Iranian revolution,” she claimed.
Among the other winners of the evening, the new version of the cult show “Starmania” won two Molières (musical show, visual and sound creation), a consecration for Thomas Jolly, director who will be at the helm of the opening ceremony. of the Paris Olympics.
He received one of the prizes alongside the co-creator of the original show, Luc Plamondon, who was very moved.
A renewed ceremony
Master of ceremonies, the director Alexis Michalik, who has won several Molières in his career, tried to give a more dynamic image to this evening, opening the ball with a song he performed himself, escorted by a group of comedians, in the style of the musical.
In particular, a succession of jokes followed (“The planet is not like the Minister of Culture that you can change every two years”, launched an actress claiming to be an eco-warrior), sketches (a Molière “broken” replaced by a Caesar), a drag performance, a tribute to theater legend Peter Brook and another to African-American music by the singers of the musical “Black Legends.”
But the evening was above all that of the Comédie-Française on the public theater side, with four Molières, including three for “Le Bourgeois gentilhomme” (best actor for Christian Hecq, best show and best staging).
Behind Molière’s comedy stands “the golden couple” of the French scene: the member of the Comédie-Française Christian Hecq and the director and visual artist Valérie Lesort, who have already received several Molières in recent years thanks to performances all audiences acclaimed for their inventiveness (“Twenty thousand leagues under the sea”, “Gulliver’s Voyage”).
The venerable institution was also rewarded for “The Snow Queen, the forgotten story”, directed by Johanna Boyé.
Still in the audience, Sara Giraudeau was crowned best actress, against Isabelle Huppert, Isabelle Carré and Catherine Hiegel, for her performance in “The Bird Syndrome”, inspired by the Natascha Kampusch affair.
On the private side, the piece “Oublie-moi”, a nugget created at the “off” of Avignon in 2022 with a modest budget, won three Molières (best private show, best actor for Thierry Lopez and best actress for Marie-Julie Baup). This is a moving melodrama about a couple’s turmoil caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
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