“All the world’s a stage…a stage where everyone must play a part.” William Shakespeare
Why is France the most visited country in the world? For many it symbolises arts and culture, and no other country comes close. Size doesn’t matter, the wealth is shared from major cities to tiny villages! Take the small town of Sète in the south of France where I have chosen to live. Widely known in France for its arts scene, it boasts no fewer than six museums, prestigious private galleries, artisan workshops, music, film, photography and poetry festivals and a spectacular theatre.
I have been a proud patron for the past two years of the magnificent Italian-style Theatre Molière . Now celebrating its 120th anniversary, it is host to a curated programme of performances: theatre, contemporary dance, circus acts, musical performances , one man shows …
My modest patronage allows the theatre to finance new performances by offering residencies to performers. A special effort is made to bring performing arts to as wide an audience as possible with shows specially dedicated to children and schools. Also mindful of a lack of public transportation in isolated villages, it relocates the theatrical troupes to perform in rural areas.
Over and above my passion for the arts, my supporting role allows me to be more involved in the local community and also to say “merci” to France, which warmly welcomed me a few decades years ago.
If you love theatre as much as I do, you might like to add the Festival d’Avignon to your bucket list. Every year in July, Avignon takes center stage transforming some of it most monumental architectural sites such as the Pope’s Palace into performance venues. This incredible month long theater festival, the biggest in the world, features up to 1000 plays, 250 one man shows, 150 musical performances parades and street shows.
Last week in the “Cour d’Honneur” I attended the outstanding performance of Welfare based on the 1975 documentary directed by Frederick Wiseman. This was just one highlights of the festival where all the world is literally a stage.
Shakespeare would have been impressed.