During one month, the theatre shines at Versailles. For 24 years, the city hosts in its streets, theatre groups, musicians and dancers of the Month Molière. More than 350 performances are given. Theatre, music, dance… The majority of the programming is free. A festival organized by the city’s mayor, François de Mazières. Lovers of the theatre, its creed is to offer a popular festival of quality. It presents in Figaro the cru 2019.

For 24 years, François de Mazières, mayor of Versailles, in charge of the programming of the Month Molière. City of Versailles

LE FIGARO. – This year you will open the festival by Capitaine Fracasse (1st and 2 June, 20: 30) Théophile Gautier, a piece of participatory staging by Benoît Gruel. Why have you chosen to start with the original choice?

François DE MAZIÈRES. – It is a gamble. It is a troupe-in-residence at Versailles. Benoît Gruel wanted to create a show especially for the festival with a participatory dimension. It joined the idea of having a big public show of quality on a well-known text that is likely to interest the greatest number. This is atypical compared to my regular programming. We’ll see how it works but I found that it was worth it because they have worked a lot on it. And I am sure it will appeal to families.

This year again, you make the beautiful part to the large directory…

It has always been in the Month Molière a large extent by the international academy of the theatre, who resides at Versailles. Our programming in the Large Stables is more oriented towards the general directory. This year a week is dedicated really to Molière, the other to texts of Shakespeare, another one with a lot of Russian authors including two pieces on texts of Dostoevsky ( The Idiot and The Double ). The last week we conclude a creation to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Offenbach.

The Russian is therefore at the forefront this year, a directory known to the general public?

Yes, it is a repertoire that is less well-known, and it is the opportunity to present on two occasions. The Double (Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 June, 20: 30) is a creation made at Versailles last year which has turned to Avignon. The director Ronan River has a lot of work on Dostoevsky, he is really fascinated by the atmosphere of Russian authors. It gives back this year because it is a show quality and original. The Double is a text new quite unknown, and the interpretation that was made is very interesting. The Idiot (Friday 14 and Saturday 15 June, 20: 30) mounted last year by Thomas Le Douarec is also a very pretty show. This is a blow to the heart.

With hundreds of performances for a month, where the month Molière by comparison to other festivals such as Avignon, for example?

“We are in an offer of theatre with a great diversity, which is played outside and above that is free”

François de Mazières

Avignon is almost non-category, it is an international festival. But compared to the other, we are in the category of big theatre festivals in the diversity of production. Our brand, it is this character of a popular festival of quality. It is a festival that is aimed at a wide public, but that in fact a lot of directories. The other tone is that it is a festival that has sought to put in front of the troops with strong potential. We see a lot in the “off” d’avignon. We are far from the circuit “in” but we’re in a supply of theatre with a great diversity, which is played outside and above that is free.

Is it difficult to exist side by side with shows produced by the château de Versailles?

This is a complementary logic. Versailles has a program focusing on music and opera with very big ways. At high prices. We, we are much more in the logic of the performances that are the creation of forms of theatre to emerge. Me, what interests me is to identify the great potential. It gives the taste for the theatre and music. It is in the process of discovery.

The next year the festival will celebrate its 25 years, how has he evolved over the years?

When I created it, I had from the start, this vision of a show is very open to the public and the same time bringing on the directory to open the minds to the theater. What has evolved is that it has become a festival that is really important. We are heading more and more towards this identification of troops potential. It is part of our DNA.

The complete program of the Month Molière