Avignon Festival

Jan Leeming

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 15th July 2011


The Avignon Festival is, I think, the oldest and largest in the world. It lasts for three weeks and there is so much going on, you’d have to be a millionaire to afford to go to everything. You could fill 21 days with four or five shows a day. There is the main festival and the Fringe - much more fun.

Owen chose a Fringe show which he thought was without speech - to make it easy for me.
(A few years ago they took me to the Festival and we saw the most moving performance by a group called Kraft - I think - in which the performers turned a massive roll of brown paper into a ‘person’ and the story was so touchingI remember shedding tears at the end. I think it may have been rather like ‘War Horse’ which I’ve not seen yet)

That group weren’t at the festival this year - maybe they were students who went their separate ways. We went to ‘Ivre d’Equilibre’ which roughly translates as ‘Drunk with Balance’. Almost impossible to describe the show which was beautifully staged. Out of the darkness came a man dragging a cart and another who set up on the side with a piano and other instruments. However the whole ‘Balancing’ show was set to a poem. Poetry is difficult enough to understand in one’s mother tongue, so trying to understand the nuances in French was quite beyond me. But the miracle of balancing by Pascal Rousseau and the musical interpretation by Eric Bono was simply fantastic. I was so impressed I bought the CD of the music from the show and another of Eric Bono’s. They both had wonderfully expressive faces and at the end of the show, I took photos of them which I’ll put in the Gallery for you.

Forgot to tell you that whilst waiting outside a building for Owen to collect the tickets for the show, a pigeon dropped his calling card on my shoulder and down my T-shirt. This is supposed to bring you luck. So I made a little wish for the success of my effort to get my Mouchotte documentary produced. (Awfully glad that Cows don’t fly!)

Just one scene from Avignon at Festival time. 


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