Expensive offer is a must for theater companies

“You’ll see, it’s 70 minutes of foolproof humor. Come on, it’s 1 p.m., the stage is a stone’s throw away.” A mixture of banter and kind nature, he has a charming smile and enthusiasm from the first time. However, Marc Larbière is far from a beginner. “It was my first Avignon in 1987, He says. I was a representative.” This time, who is also the director of the theater café in Annecy (Les Têtes de l’Art), he’s going into production. Choose an accompaniment de Gaulle’s return, a family comedy that brings the general back to life and immerses him in the modern world. The combination of humor and historical references that earned the play the support of the Charles de Gaulle Foundation.

De Gaulle returns with Mathieu Calca and Valentin Merte (Kobayashi)

And on the street is where public opinion takes hold. The show has probably been played 700 times since its inception in 2016, in Avignon it is necessary to start over and reclaim its place among the 1570 shows presented this year. Fierce competition forces spectators to snap one by one, flyers in hand, advertising T-shirts on their backs. But what amazed Marc Larbière to venture into such a project? “stay young”frankly admits.

Marc Larbière conquers spectators in the streets of Avignon (Arianne Combs)

It’s also a story of friendship. He met with the actors and authors of the play, the first: Matteo Calca and Valentin Merti, during a show in Annecy. Also with Romain Belloud, an amateur actor with a passion for the theater café who invested €15,000 to finance the project. The bulk of the spending is focused on theater rental. “basic, beneficiary counts, 100 euros per chair. For a room with 100 seats, this is a budget of 10,000 euros, to which must be added accommodation and the fee of the representatives. ” He does not intend to reimburse at the end of the festival but within a year or two if the show is “signed” by the programmers.

actors de Gaulle’s return Expect 40 to 50 spectators per performance. The goal was reached on day 4 after a modest start (20 tickets per day) and some cold sweats. “Some cultural centers make their pick only in Avignon, and we had to be there”Matteo Calca testifies. Avignon is as much a dream machine as it is a corporate crusher.He adds, obviously, an actor who relies heavily on journalistic feedback and word of mouth to fill the room. This is also how the piece initially found its audience.

Across him on Caretterie Street in the middle of a drag session, Loïc Bartolini budgeted €25,000 to present his play Freelance Photographer In the Theater des Brunes. Investing on their own money. For his solo show, which resembles a travel diary, he hired a theater director, broadcast director and a person for general logistics. After eight posts on Off with three different shows, he now knows what awaits him.

In 2019, she lost 7,000 euros. This year again, I know I won’t be covering my costs at the box office, but what’s important to me is to meet the broadcasters and programmers and sell my show. If you can sign 15 dates for next season, it’s going to be a great tour.

Loic Bartolini

Actor and Director

If Loïc Bartolini has a strong enough appearance, this is not the case for many other structures which, due to lack of spectators in the early days, find themselves burdened with debts and forced to leave the festival before the end. Legend has it that a quarter of companies give up along the way.Actress Pamela Plottier, whose company La Limprost presents for the second time in Avignon Everything turned around, a musical fairy tale for children, at the Carnot Theatre. direction The Avignon Festival & Compagnies (AF&C) association does not confirm this number, but it is a fact, some companies leave their shirts there.

Everything turns into a ball from La Limprost (Cie la Limprost)

Last year, La Limprost had the opportunity to take advantage of public subsidies from Sacem, Spedidam and its home town of Le Mans. 12,000 euros in total. But in 2021 the programmers had already completed the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 seasons due to Covid-related delays, so this year she is hoping to sign the dates. Small capacity (49 seats), in a small theater, at a less demanding time (11:30 a.m.), accommodation for the band outside Avignon: everything was done to reduce expenses and avoid going out of business. That dream does not turn into a nightmare.

“De Gaulle is back”, by Mattieu Kalka and Valentin Maerte, at La Comédie d’Avignon (40 rue des Lices, Avignon). Until July 30, 1 p.m. No class on July 11, 18 and 25.

“Freedom Photographer”And the by Loïc Bartolini, at Théâtre des Brunes (32 rue Thiers, in Avignon). Until July 30 at 12:55 p.m. There is no class on July 12, 19 and 26.

“Tout tourne-boulé”, produced by La Limprost, at the Théâtre Carnot (16 rue Carnot, in Avignon). Until July 30 at 11:30 a.m. No class on July 11, 18 and 25.

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