director Thomas Jolly appointed artistic director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

The revelation of this name was highly anticipated. Thomas Jolly, theater and opera director then actor, has been chosen by the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee to take charge of the artistic direction of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, announced organizers, Wednesday 21 September.

After “a year of reflection”and over “70 profiles reviewed” from all walks of life (directors, choreographers, etc.), Thierry Reboul, artistic director of the Paris 2024 brand, events and ceremonies, was delighted to have found “the good profile”.

At the head of the staging of the new show of starmania (at the musical Seine from November 8), Thomas Jolly is also the artistic director of La Piccola Familia, the theater company he founded in Rouen in 2006, his hometown.

He has also been directing the National Dramatic Center Le Quai d’Angers since January 1, 2020. From the start, he was noticed for his play Harlequin polished by love de Marivaux, and also received the Jean-Jacques Gautier prize in 2015, which rewards young talents in French theatre.

Also known for his interpretation of the play The Dragon by Evgueni Schwartz, he especially caused a sensation during his staging of the tetralogy of Shakespeare (a set of four plays, which corresponds to the British playwright’s first tetralogy) in 2022. He first staged the three pieces ofHenry VI of William Shakespeare in a show of 18 hours in a row, in which he then integrated that of Richard III for an unprecedented 24-hour performance. His style is driven by the goal of making a wide repertoire accessible to everyone.

At only 40 years old, his talent is recognized in the theatrical world. In 2015, he received the Molière for the director of a public theater show for Henry VIand in 2019, he was nominated twice for the Molières for Thyestes of Seneca.

His CV won over the Paris 2024 teams. “He represents this live performance, and he is part of the young theatrical guard, whose movement and his youth are of particular interest to us. And, despite his young age, he has already shown boldness, and it is also this characteristic that we like a lot”, has explained Thierry Reboul.

Above all, the latter salutes “his ability to mix knowledge that is both classical and of the general public. When we go from Shakespeare to Starmania, we see that he has this eclecticism.” His knowledge of live performance, theater or opera, therefore made the difference in imagining the four opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Because the challenge is daunting: artistically animate four ceremonies, including one over 6km of the Seine.

The choice of a single artistic director for the four ceremonies was justified by the desire to “consistency between ceremonies”. If no theme has yet been determined, the national narrative will be the basis of work, it is said on the side of Paris 2024.

In the coming months, Thomas Jolly’s first mission will be to put together his team of authors as well as scenographic, choreographic, musical talents, up to the creation of costumes etc”. The countdown has also begun, for a presentation of the artistic project in 2023.


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