Pure present

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2018 archive

Olivier Py

Avignon / Created in 2018

In these topical tragedies, characters challenge each other to try to understand how to live with dignity.
Pure Present, Olivier Py, 2018 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


Made up of three plays, Pure present is based on Aeschylus's tragedies, which Olivier Py has been translating and directing for ten years. This intimate relationship with the ancient poet has opened a breach in his aesthetics similar to that created by his work with prisoners. For the playwright and director of the Festival d'Avignon, the plays born of this experience, here The Inaccessible, The Unaccomplished, and The Irrevocable, are an opportunity to pare down his theatre and sharpen his writing. For “this tragedy of our pure present” in which “the smallest gesture betrays our guilt,” Olivier Py chose swiftness and concision by focusing on a small number of striking characters and extreme situations: a prisoner and a chaplain, a banker and his son, a masked man and the crowd, a burning prison, a gunshot, a masked revolution. All take part in verbal jousts which echo and answer each other. All make theirs a question that cannot be answered either by morality or by the law: “How to live with dignity?”


With Dali Benssalah, Nâzim Boudjenah de la Comédie-Française, Joseph Fourez
Et Guilhem Fabre (piano)

Text and direction Olivier Py
Stage design after an idea of Pierre-André Weitz
Assistannt direction Neil-Adam Mohammedi


Production Festival d'Avignon
Teatro Nacional D. Maria II (Lisbonne)
With the support of
  l'Adami et de la Spedidam pour la 72e édition du Festival d'Avignon
Pierre-André Weitz et Guillaume Bresson représenté par la Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Bruxelles

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Jack Ralite Day

  • The Workshops of thought
With the Maison Jean Vilar and the French Communist Party, in partnership with l'Humanité

The 2018 archive