In Avignon, the Open Theaters operation was prevented by the intervention of the police.



  • At the call of a national movement, initiated from Avignon, several theaters were preparing to open their doors to the public on Saturday afternoon, for an hour.

  • In the City of the Popes, the operation was prevented by the police despite the presence of visitors.

The idea was to symbolically open the theaters of France, one hour to the public, Saturday afternoon.

From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., precisely.

The call had been launched by the director of the Factory in Avignon to alert on the difficult situation of the rooms, deprived of spectators for several months because of health restrictions linked to the coronavirus epidemic.

But in the City of the Popes, where nine theaters had planned to participate, the operation was cut short.

It could not happen due to the intervention of the police.

"We were ready, the audience was there, and nothing happened," said actress Alice Benoit, in a spangled jumpsuit on the stage of the Théâtre de l'Oulle.

Despite the pouring rain, in the small street of the theater, dozens of people, soggy but joyful, waited for the doors to open to the sound of a guitar, singing in chorus the

Sentimental Crowd

 of Alain Souchon or even

Say yeah


"All these companies will not recover"

But quickly, five police officers came to stand at the entrance of the establishment.

"We weren't under any illusions," admits Laurent Rochut, the initiator of this operation, who believes that "it was a game of cat and mouse between the authorities and us, from the moment we publicized the event ”.

“All these companies will not recover, will die because the system with which the government supports them is not suited to the situation, warns Laurent Rochut.

Most will not play again before the summer, […] the government must change the way it compensates companies, on the basis of the contracts they have signed and which have been canceled ”.

Already on January 16, several hundred people demonstrated in front of the Palais des Papes in Avignon

to request the reopening of cultural venues.

The next Avignon International Theater Festival is scheduled to take place from July 5 to 25.

Capital of the theater every July, the City of the Popes was deprived in 2020 of its 150,000 visitors who are fans of the performing arts, due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

Instead, the Festival had reinvented itself as an “art week” at the end of October, which itself had to be cut short due to the second confinement.


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Avignon: About 300 people demonstrate against the prolonged closure of cultural places

  • Avignon

  • Theater

  • Covid 19

  • Society

  • Coronavirus

  • Culture