Love Triumphant

Olivier Py

FESTIVAL D’AVIGNON

Olivier Py

THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE A young girl in love refuses to obey her father and is locked up in a tower. On her release she discovers a world torn apart by conflict and poverty. To find her prince, our heroine must listen to her desires and face a general who can only sow chaos. This is the fourth time that playwright and director Oliver Py has drawn inspiration from the Brothers Grimm, this time from the story Maid Maleen. The result is an operetta in which five characters – a strong-willed princess, a disfigured suitor, a diabolical general, an eco-friendly gardener, and a kitchen maid who washes the dishes – lead us on adventures full of love, disguises, and struggles. This fairy tale written in blank Alexandrines combines the joy of musical theatre with an awareness of a troubled world: ours. Despair is answered with fancy, war with songs, so that love, with the help of the actors, singers, and musicians, can triumph.

Olivier Py […] often seeks inspiration in the Brothers Grimm, having a liking for the open-mindedness and absence of moralising that characterises most of their works. He sees them as stories of initiation. Love Triumphant is meant for a young audience, but it is strong, expressive and disconcerting. Adults will easily discern here a profound meditation on our world. And children are not stupid. They understand everything. […] Overall, it is often serious rather than playful, dark rather than truly cheerful. Children, who know better than we do how the world works, will not, however, feel frightened. It is a melancholy affair with flashes of joy.
– ARMELLE HÉLIOT, Le Journal

Py skilfully creates an aesthetics reminiscent of the tradition of travelling theatre. Various stage structures, painted vistas or photographs on the horizon also give it an expressionist feel that is very well suited to the story. The music is important: all four cast members are not only excellent actors, but also musicians.
– ARNAUD LAPORTE, France Culture

OLIVIER PY (1965) is one of the most award-winning French directors and playwrights of today. He graduated in theatre from the Paris Conservatoire, at the same time studying theology. In 1995 a production of his dramatic cycle The Servant, lasting for twenty four hours, was a major event at the Avignon Festival. In 1997 he became head of the Centre dramatique national d’Orléans, leaving in 2007 for the famous Odéon theatre in Paris. In 2013 he became director of the Avignon Festival, the first theatre director to hold the function since Jean Vilar. He is a drama, opera and also a film director, as well as being a poet, prose writer, actor and singer. As a director he has worked at leading French theatres and at theatres abroad, such as the Volksbühne in Berlin and the opera houses in Geneva, Vienna, Frankfurt, Cologne, Moscow and Edinburgh.