The ninth annual Festival Femmes en Scènes is underway, examining the place of women in present-day society
In today’s world, the role of women is complex. Historically, they never had more opportunities to be independently successful, and they have assumed their responsibility as bread winners, state leaders, and formidable forces opposing the prevailing systems. But at the same time, social currents are feverishly trying to yank them back behind the stove. We may well be in the 21st century but countless women in the world are still – or again – oppressed, deliberately kept uneducated, and subjected to physical and emotional violence. The ninth edition of the Niçois Festival Femmes en Scènes is trying to highlight their plight, while showing what women are indeed capable of.
The opening night at Théâtre Francis Gag on March 3 featured a first highlight when festival founder and president Françoise Nahon took to the stage, accompanied by Marjolaine Alziary, performing a stage adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s novella “24 Hours in the Life of A Woman”. But this was just the beginning of a weeklong programme packed with a powerful mix of political messages and feminine allure. But – and this is most helpful to the cause of women in general and in the arts in particular – this allure is based on talent and intelligence, rather than on shedding one’s clothes in an attempt to draw attention to oneself.
Impossible to pick favourites in such a densely packed festival, so we decided to go with what we believe will be the audience’s coups de cœur.
LAURA HURT – Conference
Theatre Francis Gag | Monday 6 March 2017, 18h00
One woman artist who has quietly and patiently built her reputation over these past years is Laura Hurt. A pluridisciplinarian, she represents both stage and plastic arts, and all of a sudden she and her dog Ice Tea appear everywhere. A dog? Yes… because Laura is visually impaired, and Ice Tea is her spare pair of eyes. While the canine does not show any appreciable artistic talent as yet, Laura has enough for the both of them. She who recently participated in the Nice Berlin Solidar(t)ité show and the annual Messe des Artistes, presents a conference on the theme of Marquis de Sade and view of women. Was he really the misogynist we tend to think he was?
ISABELLE SERVOL – Musical Theatre
Théâtre Francis Gag | Saturday 11 March 2017, 20h30
A staple of the national theatre scene, Isabelle is one of the most versatile singers, dancers and entertainers around. The kind of musical theatre she does is light, sweet, entertaining, dreamy, and fun, but never shallow. Plays like Camille C. or Le Prince Heureux showcase her talent, and and astounding depth. During this festival, she revives Parlez-moi d’amour, one of her most popular programmes, under Alain Joutard’s musical direction.
LES BONNES – Play
Théâtre Francis Gag | Sunday 12 March 2017, 15h00
Ah, les Bonnes…. Those in the know, know, and those not in the know, know they have been missing something extraordinary. Another masterpiece bearing the Chauveau / Collectif La Machine signature, with Irène Reva and Julie Cardile in the lead roles, this smart, brainy, sassy and sophisticated Jean Genet adaptation is the perfect closure of the 2017 Festival Femmes en Scènes.
There are of course many more exciting shows on tap, both at Théâtre Francis Gag and Espace Magnan, do check out the full programme.
Théâtre Francis Gag
4, rue de la Croix
31, rue Louis de Coppet
All images courtesy Festival Femmes en Scènes