Encounter with Olivier Py

  • Encounters with artists
The 2014 archive
Encounter with Olivier Py © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


The first artist to head the Festival d'Avignon since Jean Vilar, Olivier Py is a polymorphic figure of the theatre. An actor, director, as comfortable with the texts of Aeschylus as with a Verdi libretto, he is also an author. For his first Festival d'Avignon as director, Olivier Py has therefore decided to write a political comedy, whose main lines he shares with us.

A few words from Olivier Py

about Orlando or Impatience 

"Orlando is desperately looking for his father. His mother, a famous actress, gives him a new track at each act that leads him into an ever more eccentric identification. Each of his possible fathers is also a theatre just as much as a possible philosophy. The first is a director of political tragedy, the second only directs erotic comedies, the third obscure religious poems, the fourth historical sagas and the last philosophical farces. Each time, Orlando tries to seduce his new father, until his mother admits to him that he is someone else's son...

We are in the registry of comedy and meta-comedy as we were in one of my former plays, Comic Illusions. But it is also a question in this play of dreaming about new ethics, that is a new relationship to the world. Have politics been replaced by politicians, is art no longer anything other than merchandise, is gender today a standardizing and reactionary vector, can faith survive the intellectual collapse of religions, has philosophy been reduced to comments on the past glory of Europe?

The set design will be a choreography of indoor spaces, a stream of private places that will make this show a picaresque work.

Like a long stroll through the thoughts and theatres of its time, Orlando or Impatience is a portrait of the present, neither provocative nor blissful. It imagines that we live in a change of period and that, on this fracture line, destinies vacillate. Lastly, this will be a show as manifesto for Avignon in which only the theatre, of course, is the victor."

Practical infos


Encounter with Olivier Py © Christophe Raynaud de Lage