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It is necessary to remind the public that it is there : at the Festival Culturissimo, the show continues with Didier Zander, Irene Jacob, and the other

"I need to do as if there was an audience ?". On stage, Irene Jacob is trying to take its brands. Exercise is indeed unusual. Incongruous even. The actress is about to read the first chapter of the Four daughters of Doctor March, in a theatre almost empty. Behind his camera, the stage manager reassures her : "The idea is to apply to a public virtual."

read also : The theatre made act of presence

This Wednesday, may 27 was the last day of recording of the readings of the Festival Culturissimo. The event, organized since 2014 by the Cultural Spaces E. Leclerc, has made this year turn out to be a bit special. Usually, a troupe of actors and musicians travels to 75 cities of France for two months, where they interpret readings and concerts. But the pandemic of Covid-19 has decided otherwise and forced the organizers to fall back on a digital version of the festival.

We wanted to remind people that there are artists willing to continue

Marie-José Cegarra, head of Culturissimo

"It was quite vexed," recalls Marie-José Cegarra, head of the seventh edition. So to ensure the keeping of Culturissimo in spite of everything, the organisers decide to register to artists, concerts and readings without an audience and disseminate online. "We wanted to remind people that there are artists willing to continue". The musicians, like Tryo, Bear, Suzane, Alain Souchon and Jean-Louis Aubert, are playing at home. For the actors, the readings take place at the Théâtre du Petit Saint-Martin in the Tenth arrondissement of Paris, in order to "put them in the conditions of the scene".

A year "special"

Since 14 may, a small team, therefore, has established his quarters in the parisian theatre. Here, only two cameramen, a sound engineer, a stage manager, a make-up artist-hairdresser, photographer, communication managers and, of course, actors, are accepted, in order not to exceed the limit of ten people allowed at a rally. The program, social distancing and face masks, as the actors will withdraw only at the time of registration.

A film crew replaces the spectators in the Theatre of the Petit Saint-Martin, during the reading of Irène Jacob. Edwin Colas/Festival Culturissimo

This morning, Irene Jacob is the first to go. In front of her, loose-leaf, on which is inscribed the beginning of the novel by Louisa May Alcott. The actress is training to read, while the audio engineer attaches a microphone. But if Irene Jacob is a veteran of the festival, which she has been involved for the past few years, the exercise of today is very different. "When we play in front of a large audience, it is live. There is something happening and an out-and-back with the audience, we hear. It is a stimulating form of energy. Then he had to give a live aspect, with a camera nearby, to have a strong voice. It was a bit special."

Irene Jacob plays The four girls of Doctor March from Louisa May Alcott

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