#MeToo Theater, intermittency, budget cuts, Iran… A 35th Molières Night more political than ever

#MeToo Theater, intermittency, budget cuts, Iran… A 35th Molières Night more political than ever
#MeToo Theater, intermittency, budget cuts, Iran… A 35th Molières Night more political than ever

WE WERE THERE – Hosted without much finesse by the comedian Caroline Vigneaux, this ceremony which was held at the Folies Bergère reviewed all the ills that plague live performance.

It’s not easy to be happy when you’re doing badly! The title of the comedy by Rudy Milstein which is currently triumphant at the Théâtre Lepic sums up quite well the situation of the live performance, collateral victim of the drop in credits of 204.3 million euros for the Ministry of Culture and stuck, like the cinema , in the #MeToo movement. Against bad luck, the 35th Nuit des Molières, broadcast on delay for around forty minutes on France 2 from the Folies Bergère – you can never be too careful – began with fanfare. Precisely with the music of the Paris Fire Brigade and the credits of the show “Champs-Élysées”, like an incursion from the old world into the new. Caroline Vigneaux, the mistress of ceremonies, who apparently does not fear the symbol, holds the bass drum. Was this ceremony going to lack lightness? Or would it be that of the “reconciliation” as Sophia Aram likes to describe it, dreaming of a patching up between “Rachida Dati and Kebab, Gabriel Attal’s dog”.

In this evening dedicated to the memory of Bernard Pivot, the current tenant of rue de Valois was quick to be addressed. “Thank you to everyone except the Minister. You recover the 204 million euros from us, you don’t touch the intermittency. And we’ll release you in time for Paris City Hall!” quipped Caroline Vigneaux, who succeeds Alexis Michalik in this delicate art of animating Les Molières. An exercise that requires a certain eloquence. The former lawyer certainly does not lack it. Except that it is put at the service of a painful right-thinking, of a falsely transgressive doxa, proving Philippe Muray so right when, as a visionary, he wrote: “Our time is so consumed with good intentions, so eager to do good, that it sees evil everywhere.”

So the former lawyer, reoriented towards humor, salutes the memory of Joséphine Baker who began her career at the Folies Bergère almost a century ago. She pleads for the leader of the review who was accused of being vulgar, if not obscene, who was accused of singing even approximately in the language of Molière. And is delighted that she has now entered the Pantheon. And to add: “At least we know where Aya Nakamura will end up.”

“What buffoonery!”

Return to the theater? Not quite. Or at least, not yet. The fall in front of Emmanuel Macron by diver Alexis Jandard was, we admit, quite entertaining. From there, seeing a room rise as one to applaud him is a very strange spectacle. Like an untimely triumph of the bloopers that delight television channels during the end-of-year holiday periods. “What buffoonery!”exclaims my neighbor, looking up at the hangers.

Against all expectations, at least without respect for an order that is, if not formal, at least usual, the first of nineteen prizes is awarded to the best actor in a private theater show. It goes to Vincent Dedienne for his fabulous performance in the skin of a twirling Fadinard, in The Straw Hat of Italy directed by Alain Françon at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin. It is forbidden to use the word “thank you”. A law enacted by Caroline Vigneaux. The actor therefore declares his love to his director and in the most beautiful way. He would have liked this show to never happen because he took so much pleasure in repeating it. On the public theater side, Micha Lescot was preferred to Charles Berling, Laurent Lafitte (who has just announced his departure from the Comédie-Française) and Roschdy Zem. A very well deserved reward for his very handsome Richard II. On stage, the actor expressed how important this prize was to him. Evoking in particular his father, the actor Jean Lescot who often repeated to him: “You will be an actor when you have played Shakespeare.»

From the Bard of Avon, we move almost without transition to the Molière of comedy. It logically comes down to It’s not easy to be happy when you’re doing badly. Rudy Milstein, its author, this time with a logic that escapes us a little, is also awarded the Molière for best living French-speaking author against, in particular, the playwright Yasmina Reza for his James Brown wore curlers.

Sophia Aram receives the Molière for best comedy show. So much the better, she’s the funniest one this evening. Then comes a “comedian who doesn’t need to be accompanied because his name is Bruno Solo” (dixit Vigneaux) to present Molière de la Comédienne in a private theater. Nominated seven times without ever winning it, Cristina Reali was finally rewarded for her role as Blanche Dubois in A desire tramdirected by Pauline Susini.

Just before this award was presented, Bruno Solo asked the question. Does he have pans? You never know if his name should appear on a list soon. Not even a little attack? Not an inappropriate gesture? A wandering hand? “No nothing, assures the actor. Ah, yes, a makeup artist but I married him and I gave him two children.» Conclusion of the mistress of ceremonies: “A man can therefore have a real career without attacking women.” Bass drum… A sequence which shortly precedes that of the support of live performances in the fight against sexist and sexual violence, via the broadcast of a giant trombinoscope on which we could read: “You are not alone.”

In terms of demands, an actor from the CGT spectacle warns against “theater companies (…) bankrupt, tens of thousands of jobs (…) threatened”. “It’s a massive layoff plan that doesn’t say its name,” he said, looking at the Minister of Culture who, unlike Rima Abdul Malak last year, did not speak. Rachida Dati had preserved her rear somewhat by posting a video at the start of the evening in which she assured that “the regime of intermittency (…) had to be preserved”.

Francis Huster at the women’s school

Anne Roumanoff comes forward to award the Molière for Directing in a private show. After a grueling diatribe on the excesses of social networks, she presented the trophy to Olivier Solivérès for Dead Poets Society . The man is perseverant: it took him eleven years to produce this play based on Peter Weir’s film. Nominated in six categories and produced at the Théâtre Antoine by Jean-Marc Dumontet (who is also the president of the Académie des Molières) she also received the prize for best male hopeful. It goes to Ethan Oliel, an actor with incredible charm who will undoubtedly be talked about very soon.

Zucchiniby Paméla Ravassard and Garlan Le Marteot, the other highly anticipated play (seven nominations) leaves the Folies Bergère with the Molière for best actress in a public theater show for Vanessa Caihol who is ahead in the votes of voters, sorry , Marina Hands, Laetitia Casta and Emmanuelle Bercot.

“We love him for the same reasons we hate him”. After an exercise of admiration which would have merited a few ellipses, Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt presented an honorary Molière to Francis Huster, who did not dare to publicly demand from Rachida Dati the entry of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin into the Pantheon. But he wasn’t far from it… In a tirade which earned him a standing ovation, the actor praised in any case “the real heroines” plays by Molière, his female characters. And to quote “Agnès, Elvire, Armande, Célimène, Toinette, Nicole, Dorine” who dared “denounce and triumph over these cowards, Tartuffe rapist, hypocrite Orgon, Arpagon avaricious pervert, Jourdain obsessed with money and sex, Arnolphe predator pedophile, Argan deranged and even Dom Juan killer without remorse”. #MeToo theater would therefore have four centuries…

SnowPauline Bureau’s magical show given at the Hill last December received both the prize for young audiences and that for best visual and sound creation.

The big surprise comes from 4211km by Aïla Navidi, a play on exile which will resume in September at the Théâtre Marigny. This show evokes the fate of an Iranian family who took refuge in France. The family of the author and director who receives the supreme award, the Molière du Théâtre Privé as well as that of Most Promising Actress for Olivia Paviou-Graham. Aïla Navidi took the opportunity to defend the cause of Toomaj Salehi, the 33-year-old rapper sentenced to death in Iran who became one of the spokespersons for the “Women, Life, Freedom” protest movement.

Finally, like every year, Jean-Marc Dumontet offered himself a platform defending the intermittent system threatened by “big clouds” black and evoking the need to preserve the French cultural exception. Before defending, in a France threatened by the poison of division and populism of all sides, the merits of democracy. In short, a speech from the Minister of Culture that he would have liked to be in a Molières evening could not be more political.

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