Orlando ou l'Impatience

  • Theatre
The 2014 archive

Olivier Py

Orlando ou l'Impatience © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


It is with a comedy that Olivier Py opens, as a writer and director, his run as director of the Festival d'Avignon. A comedy to tell us, between optimism and pessimism, between hope and anxiety, of the present of the world and the inscrutable strength of the theatre. But also a comedy to remind us that to this new and dark world, we must respond with a new ethics. Olivier Py's young hero, the impatient Orlando, goes looking for his father, whom he's never known. His mother, an actress, sends him on a number of false leads that are so many steps on the way towards an expected truth. Orlando, or Impatience can be read as a manifesto that leads us on a journey through which run modern questionings that are those that, at varying degrees, motivate Olivier Py's entire poetic body of work: politics, art, sex, faith, philosophy... Those themes intermingle under the pen of the writer and the eye of the director, always between heaven and earth, neglecting neither but putting them in relation on the theatre stage, an exemplary and inescapable place of confrontation and commitment. With each new possible father, Orlando encounters a new theatrical form, from the political tragedy to the erotic comedy, from the historical epic to the philosophical farce... Everything that makes Olivier Py's theatre is present here, in a comedy where mocking laughter stands alongside the scathing irony of an always sincere and desperately merry artist.

Poet, playwright, novelist, director for the theatre and the opera, actor, singer... Olivier Py has lived and breathed the theatre since 1988. In 1995, he made a splash at the Festival d'Avignon with The Servant, An Endless Story, a cycle of plays lasting for 24 hours, before coming back to the Festival time and again, with Apologetic, The Face of Orpheus, The Joyful Apocalypse, Requiem for Srebrenica, The Winners, The Vilar Enigma shown in the Cour d'honneur. He also sang Miss Knife for the OFF festival. In 2006 he wrote his first comedy, Comedy Illusions, before beginning a long work on tragedy with The Children of Saturn, the Oresteia, and Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes, The Suppliants, and The Persians. His work often includes references to Jean Vilar and to popular forms of theatre. Director of the Centre dramatique national d'Orléans, then of the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, he has been active in the fight for public theatre and has defended several political causes: with Ariane Mnouchkine and François Tanguy against the siege of Sarajevo, supporting undocumented immigrants, raising the Palestinian flag and welcoming the Syrian resistance at the Odéon Theatre, supporting Christiane Taubira and the cause of gay marriage, speaking out against the far right during the 2014 municipal elections... He has been the director of the Festival d'Avignon since September 2013.

As a very young child, Pierre-André Weitz discovered the world of the theatre by accompanying his grandfather to work at the Théâtre du Peuple in Bussang, a popular theatre whose motto is “Through Art for Humanity.” While studying at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg, specialising in lyrical art, and at the École d'Architecture, he soon developed an interest for scenography and, aged only 18, designed his first sets and costumes. After working with François Rancillac and François Berreur, he met Olivier Py in 1993. As a scenographer and a costume and make-up designer, he played a part in the creation of his shows right from the start, helping create “space-time locations within which the actors move.” Pierre-André Weitz works with raw materials—wood and metal—and likes to play with the light, creating a whole system of symbols based on colours. He choreographs his creations with an almost musical precision, voluntarily revealing the machinery behind them and the technicians manipulating it.

  • "Orlando ou l’Impatience" is published by éditions Actes Sud-Papiers.


Text and direction Olivier Py
Scenography, decoration, costumes and make-up Pierre-André Weitz
Music Stéphane Leach
Lighting Bertrand Killy

Jean-Damien Barbin Le professeur de diction fou, le directeur de cabinet fou, l'apnéiste fou, 
l'ostéopathe fou, l'affirmatologue fou, le troueur fou, 
le milliardaire fou et le théâtreux fou 
Laure Calamy Ambre 

Eddie Chignara Le Ministre 
Matthieu Dessertine Orlando 
Philippe Girard Le père désespéré, le père exalté, 
le père déshonoré, le père oublié, le père recommencé
Mireille Herbstmeyer La grande actrice 

Stéphane Leach Le pianiste 

François Michonneau Gaspard, le faux Gaspard et le fils



Production Festival d'Avignon
Coproduction Théâtre de la Ville-Paris, Théâtre National Populaire (Villeurbanne), Comédie de Genève, Festival Ruhrfestspiele de Recklinghausen, ARTE Concert
With the support of Adami

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