Better rest up this summer because once the “Sortir à Cannes” programme gets underway, you won’t get a chance to do so.

Cannes has an image problem – admittedly one of the “nice to have” kind, but still. With its glamorous film festival and the ritzy Croisette, it often appears a tad too posh and intimidating for those mere mortals who are not in the habit of flying in by private jet or at the very minimum arriving in their chauffeur-driven stretch limo. But there is a whole other side to Cannes, one that is absolutely accessible, and that offers a fantastic, diverse performing arts programme for every taste and every wallet. Starting September 17 and through April 29, more than 60 theatre, music, and dance shows are brought to you courtesy of the City, the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, and the Orchestre Régional de Cannes PACA.

To watch a show means discovering another universe, and opening a door to a creation, a thought, a distraction. It is no accident that countries with less of a democracy and fewer freedoms are the ones that censure, curtail, and forbid first and foremost the realm of culture. It is therefore essential for Cannes to make art easily accessible to all, no matter who you are in your everyday life, and through an excellent program that throughout the year unites the best of ambition and entertainment in the most noble sense of the term,” so Mayor David Lisnard’s statement about his city’s upcoming cultural season. And looking at the schedule, this certainly is a wonderfully diverse cornucopia of artistic disciplines.

Hard to pick highlights or favorites from such a rich cultural programme but here are a few appetizers for you – for the full schedule, visit the Ville de Cannes website.


Silence, on tourne!

Patrick Haudecoeur, author of Thé à la Menthe ou T’es Citron, and the remarkable actor in Le Dîner de Cons of last season, returns with an entirely new work. A theatre stage serves as backdrop for shooting a film scene during which a cuckold husband interrupts the performance to try and kill his rival. And as everything sorts itself out, we discover the secrets of the film crew: a producer in desperate straits, hounded by difficult creditors; a director in love with the actress who prefers someone else; jealousies, frustrations, fierce rivalries, secrets, thwarted ambitions … What a farce! Carried by a wonderful team of actors, this strange, frenzied comedy constantly shifts between theatre and the ‘making of’ film, also benefits from an impressive cast of extras: the audience!  Yes, you are part of the story …

Théâtre Croisette, Saturday, 5 November 2016, 20h30 – (in French)

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Un certain Charles Spencer Chaplin

Here is the tale of a life that lived up to its destiny: from Chaplin’s first short film in 1914 to 1975, when he was knighted by the Queen of England, the play highlights the epic story of a true 20th century icon: an extraordinary comic, a visionary critic and a brilliant artist, a free spirit with a myriad of paradoxes. This beautifully accomplished, complex theatrical play is as much a tribute to the man as his art. Helped by an elaborate set design and styling, interspersed with flashbacks and numerous tableaux depicting the atmosphere of the periods covered, it is a jubilant playground for a masterful selection of actors. An ambitious, rare production which has the air of a cinematographic epic, with a remarkable Maxime d’Aboville whom we already lauded as Bonaparte in Le Conversation by Jean d’Ormesson.

Palais des festivals et des congrès – Théâtre Claude Debussy – Friday, 3 March 2017, 20h30

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Les Innocents

One of the giant group’s in the French Pop-Rock scene throughout the Nineties with the pivotal Fous à lier, Les Innocents broke up in 2000.  After a few sporadic collaborations, JP Nataf and JC Urbain decided to get back together in 2014 to record some new tracks.  Released in 2015, the album Mandarine which was crowned best rock album in the ‘Victoires de la Musique’ 2016, had all the hallmarks of Les Innocents’ unique and unclassifiable style: elaborate arrangements, singular lyrics, harmony and eclecticism.  Some tracks have echoes of American or British sounds, but most of all they demonstrate that the musicians have perfectly retained their ability to create songs with strong ‘classic’ potential.  A seductive come-back with the intimate style, created with simplicity and rediscovered affinity.

Palais des festivals et des congrès – Théâtre Claude Debussy – Saturday, 17 September , 20h30

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Irish Celtic Generations

After having enthralled more than 200,000 spectators during their tour in 2011, they are back here again with a new show.  This time they are inviting us to a pub evening.  And what an evening! The party atmosphere is provided by dancing, singing, tap dancing, bagpipes and violins. About thirty artists set a frenzied pace in this musical comedy which deals with traditions & legends and manages to stir up the entire Irish soul. Their spectacular technique and energy, together with the intoxicating music and the poetry of the set design immerses us in the heart of a wonderful story of transmission, one where all the generations are united by listening to Ireland’s beating heart.

Palais des festivals et des congrès – Théâtre Claude Debussy – Sunday, 27 Nov., 14h and 17h30

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Casse-Noisette (performed by Ballet National de Chine)

A Nutcracker like you’ve never seen it before!  The National Ballet of China have honoured Cannes for its sole date in France. Lovers of classical ballet have no doubt seen many different versions of this major work in the classic repertoire, but this time, the National Ballet of China offers us a profoundly different interpretation, distinguished by Eastern sensitivity and tinged with a unique cultural identity and aesthetic colouring. Here, Tchaikovsky’s music rings out for the Chinese New Year, while the adaptation of the original story is inspired by a fusion of choreography that achieves a very nice balance between classicism, exoticism and technical excellence. Hailing from another hemisphere, this Nutcracker, created in 2001, and reworked by the company in 2010, is bathed in an enchanting atmosphere in which this familiar work takes on the irresistible charm of novelty.

Palais des festivals et des congrès – Grand auditorium – Saturday, 17 December, 20h30

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Sortir à Cannes bannerCONTACT DETAILS
Palais des festivals et des congrès
1, bd. de la Croisette
06400 Cannes

Tel: + 33 4 92 99 84 00


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Lead image by Tiia Monto [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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