Hamlet in the imperative !

Episode 4 – Exercice de métathéâtralité

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The 2021 archive

Olivier Py

Avignon / Created in 2021

With the most famous of Shakespeare’s tragedies, Olivier Py comes to the garden of the bibliothèque Ceccano to ask a central question: “What can theatre do?”

Hamlet in the imperative ! - The play, Olivier Py, 2021 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


“Who’s there?” From its opening line, Hamlet calls out to the audience and drags them into a story where duty and awareness of the self intersect in the famous “To be or not to be.” Accompanied by amateurs, students from the École régionale d’acteurs de Cannes-Marseille, and professional actors, Olivier Py comes to the garden of the bibliothèque Ceccano to question theatre itself thanks to Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies. With a new translation and an original text he invites us to think about what it means to act. To play? To take action? With ten episodes based alternatively on key scenes, monologues, or individual characters, and five performances of Hamlet, the series asks a central question, every day of the Festival: “What can theatre do?” So, yes, spectators and actors alike, are you there?


With Moustafa Benaïbout, Damien Bigourdan, Céline Chéenne, Redwane Rajel, Bertrand de Roffignac, Youssef Zendji, and theatre enthusiasts citizens, and students at École régionale d'acteurs de Cannes et de Marseille : Zélie Gillet, Laurie Iversen, Roméo Mariani, Gaspard Raymond, Alexis Tieno, Sébastien Weber
And Julien Jolly (musician)

Original text, translation and direction Olivier Py
Composition, percussions Julien Jolly
Assistant direction Bertrand de Roffignac aidé de Julien Masson


Production Festival d'Avignon
Co-production Le Théâtre Scène nationale de Saint-Nazaire
With the participation of the École régionale d’acteurs de Cannes et de Marseille
With the help of the Théâtre du Châtelet
In collaboration with bibliothèque Ceccano

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