The theatrical re-entry, between health pass and last minute reservation

After nearly a year of closure and a restart of theaters in a dribble fashion this summer, all the theaters are reopening and finding the public. Spectators who are present but have changed their habits, favoring last minute reservations.

“As in all sectors, the covid has been an accelerator of change”, explains Bertrand Thamin, president of the National Union of Private Theater (SNDTP), whose management committee gave a press conference on Monday on the occasion of the theatrical re-entry. A recovery marked by the introduction of the health pass, “which goes well with the public and takes only half a second”, notes Bertrand Thamin, but also by a phenomenon of reservations at the last moment, notes the profession.

Last minute reservations

Scorched by the theaters closing overnight last season, audiences no longer book months in advance. There is no question of ending up with tickets to be reimbursed or postponed to an unknown date. However, he does not shy away from theaters.

“The envy among the spectators exists. They have been weaned, they want to come, ”notes Bertrand Thamin, who wants to be optimistic. “Let’s start by reopening the premises and things will be done naturally”, continues the one who is also at the head of the Montparnasse theater, conceding however that “the return to normal will not be done in a snap of the fingers”.

Because if the public answers the call, they improvise their theater outings at the last moment. “The last week of August is not too bad,” notes Sébastien Azzopardi, co-director of the Palais Royal theater and the Michel theater, which have been programming respectively since the end of August “The Turing machine” and “L ’embarrassment of the choice’, but “five days before, we thought to play in front of an empty room”, he notes. “And then there were last minute reservations,” he emphasizes. Reservations made two or three days in advance and which can be doubled the same day.

Cabarets are about to reopen

A restart that reassures – “We no longer spend sleepless nights,” said Bertrand Thamin – but does not erase all the anxieties. “When we sell 2/3 of the seats in the last few days, it’s scary,” he continues. Especially since “remains a sword of Damocles: the repayment of loans by the State”, underlines Philippe Lhomme, president of Camulc, the national union of cabarets and music halls, also at the head of Crazy Horse. Cabarets that have remained closed all summer, due to the absence of tourists, their first customers.

Back to school will also ring the hour for the first curtain raisers. “We will reopen gradually. At the end of the month, all the cabarets will be reopened ”, he explains, stressing however the concern of the profession:“ Foreign tourists must come back ”. A reopening which will however be partial, limited to three, four days a week while normally the cabarets are open 7 days a week.

Many creations on display

A return to school which also places itself under the sign of novelty. Many creations will take center stage this season. Among them, “Guilty” with Richard Anconina at Studio Marigny, “88 times infinity” with Niels Arestrup and François Berléand, “In the Great Court” by the team of “Faux British” or “In the life of Dorothy Parker ”, by and with Zabou Breitman, to name but a few.

Pieces created for the theatrical re-entry as projects on hold for months, due to the closure of theaters. “As in the cinemas, there is a jam of projects with plays which started for two dates and which were stopped”, notes Bernard Murat, at the head of the Edouard VII theater, which will host, from September 14, Vanessa Paradis for her first steps in the theater. A play originally programmed last February, never performed, and forced to be postponed.

But if “Maman”, a piece written for the interpreter of “Joe le Taxi”, could have been shifted and will make the heyday of the theatrical re-entry, not all of them were so lucky. The agenda of the actors or the troops does not always allow it, notes Arthur Jugnot, director of the theater of the Parisian Béliers who for his part programs “The course of the giants”, unveiled this summer, and the play become cult “The bearer of history ”. A puzzle for theaters and artists whose priority remains above all to play and find the public.

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