Saturday, February 20, 2010

Avignon during the festival

During the July Theater Festival Avignon is a different sort of place. People say this is the worlds biggest theater festival, and it might well be true. But most importantly, this extraordinary time of the year gives the city a unique, youthfull atmosphere that lingers on for many months. Actualy there are two festivals at the same time : Rather like on Broadway, there is a "In" festival in the Pope's palace and a few other grand venues, for big officila productions, and an " Off" festival for smaller, independent compagnies, one-man shows, performances, etc.

The Off boasts 250.000 spectators, 800 theater companies, a thousand shows in a hundred different venues.
Here are a few photographs of the streets of Avignon last July, adorned with the billboards that advertise the shows. Even the most blasé of the Popes'city denizens love that period. Actors in costumes throng the streets, al fresco dining is the rule. Nights are hot and short. It is more than a cultural event : an experience, gathering artists and audiences from all around the world.
Every year, the festival welcomes artists and performers from many countries and many languages will be heard on the stages : French as well as English, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Polish, German and Hebrew.

Accomodation at this time of the year will be a bit tricky to find. Prices of our studios and rooms must be discussed and booked well in advance.