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A Shakespeare Festival in Vincennes!
Shakespeare d’Avril! is a festival where all can discover—and rediscover—the everlasting brilliance of Shakespeare’s works. It offers a variety of cultural events that are fun, inclusive, and accessible to all: connoisseurs and newcomers, young and old, able and disabled alike, everyone is welcome !
Shakespeare d’Avril! takes place in the city of Vincennes, well known for its tradition of culture and solidarity.
Shakespeare d’Avril! draws in the crowds: in April 2019, Irina Brook and Marie-Claude Pietragalla participated in the festival, and 2500 people attended 8 different events!
In 2021, Shakespeare d’Avril ! was postponed to 2023 because of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, in 2022, La Fabrique Shakespeare organized an event over the Easter week-end at the Château de Vincennes, centered around the figure of Henry V on the eve of the 600th anniversary of the great King’s death at the Château de Vincennes. For details, click here!
All are welcome at Shakespeare d’Avril !—parents with young children, actors and theatre-goers, people with disabilities, students, teenagers, journalists, school children, and all those who are simply curious… maybe even « curious, teenage students who have young children with disabilities! »
Click here for a short video about the festival. A version with subtitles will be available very soon.
A festival for all
All different, but all together!
At Shakespeare d’Avril ! we work to provide each festival goer—whatever their situation—with at least one cultural offer. All the venues are accessible to people with limited mobility. Trained volunteers are present during the whole festival to ensure all guests are accommodated. Our team is there to make sure that everyone feels respected and welcome while enjoying the festival.
A Relaxed Performance of the show, DREAM!
Created and directed by Irina Brook
Shakespeare d’Avril ! 2019
Shakespeare d’Avril ! is unique in offering Relaxed Performances, which provide a carefree environment so that everyone can enjoy the show and express their emotions freely.
During a Relaxed Performance, audience and artists are informed that the usual rules are relaxed: any differences are welcome, you can move freely and ask your neighbors questions during the show, and staff are there to offer assistance if needed.
A Relaxed Performance offers a carefree environment to welcome and reassure everyone, including people with autism, mental and physical disabilities, parents with young children as well as elderly people and their loved ones.
Marie-Pierre Dupagne, creator of the festival, lives in Vincennes. Studying and teaching English fuelled her passion for Shakespeare, and she has long been committed to making cultural events accessible to all.
The Organising Committee:
The « CAWDOR »
Our committee brings together people working in different fields : the theatre (Christina Batman), disability (Catherine Morhange), secondary education (Bérangère Bleunven, Michèle Mazière), higher education (Catherine Mazodier, Angélique Guillerot-Malick – also a regional coordinator of the Prix Goncourt des lycéens), finance (Claire Bourdon, Eric Gicquiaux), and social protection (Christophe Lapierre).
30 enthusiastic volunteers also cooperate at every stage to smooth the way for everyone—organizers, artists and audience— to enjoy the festival.
What brings us together
Our core belief:
Experience Shakespeare once and you will love him forever!
The festival is made for all to enjoy. We offer quality cultural events that are sufficiently varied to allow everyone to discover/rediscover Shakespeare in their own way.
From the initial planning all the way to the completion of our festival, we are very careful to keep all types of visitors in mind so that no one is left out.
Humour, sharing, and respect.
Shakespeare d’Avril ! 23 event listing:
3 plays !
Shakespeare «Top Sablier !» (in French): the Comedy of Errors in under an hour, by Studio JLMB, Sunday 2nd April, 3 and 5 p.m., Espace Sorano (free admission, advance booking necessary).
Book here for 3 p.m. show
Book here for 5 p.m. show
Les Deux Gentilshommes de Vérone (in French), the Two Gentlemen of Verona by la Pépinière du Nouveau Monde, Saturday 15th April, 8 p.m. (full price 21€, reduced 15€), Relaxed Performance Sunday 16th April, 3 p.m. (all tickets 15€), auditorium Jean-Pierre Miquel, Cœur de Ville.
Book here for Saturday 15th performance
Book here for Sunday 16th Relaxed performance
Much Ado About Nothing (in English) : see week-end at the Château
The Taming of the Shrew (in English with French subtitles) (Franco Zeffirelli, 1967), Saturday 1st April, 6:30 p.m., cinema Le Vincennes. Followed by a talk with Laura Koeppel and Marie-Pierre Dupagne.
info and tickets here
Much Ado About Nothing (in English with French subtitles) (Kenneth Branagh, 1993), Tuesday 18th April , 7:30 p.m., Espace Sorano.
info and tickets here
2 exhibitions !
Collection d’affiches/Affiches de collection : an exhibition of vintage and contemporary posters of Shakespeare plays and films, 21st March to 7th April, Espace Sorano (admission free).
Le First Folio fête son anniversaire : an exhibition celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio, 31st March to 20th April, Coeur de Ville foyer (admission free).
talks and readings !
Journée de Curiosités (in French): 3 Shakespeare specialists will be giving talks intended for the general public, Saturday 1st April, 2 to 6 p.m., salle Paul-Rumeau, Maison des Associations (full price 10€, reduced 8€).
-« La comédie, c’est une erreur? » (Is Comedy an Error?) Ladan Niayesh, professor in Shakespeare studies at the Université Paris Cité.
-« Le First Folio de Saint-Omer: l’aventure d’une redécouverte », (Rediscovering Saint-Omer’s First Folio : an Adventure), Rémy Cordonnier, head librarian of ancient collections at the bibliothèque d’agglomération du Pays de Saint-Omer.
-« Le Songe en musique », (Shakespeare’s Dream set to music), François-Xavier Szymczak, radio producer at France Musique.
Cheese and Cider after the talks!
Divan Littéraire (in French): Vincennes book club dedicated to Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap of Time (La faille du temps) Monday 3rd April, 7:30 p.m., salle Paul-Rumeau, Maison des Associations.
Lecture dans le noir (in French): a reading in the dark of some of Shakespeare’s sonnets by Joël Hillion, Thursday 20th April, 7 p.m., salle Robert-Louis, Cœur de Ville (full price 8€, reduced 6€).
2 concerts !
Clin d’Oeil à Shakespeare: a concert by the AMAC, Saturday 8th April, 7 p.m., auditorium Jean-Pierre Miquel, Coeur de Ville.
Un Songe en Bohême: a concert by les Clés d’Euphonia, Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd April, 8:30 p.m. Relaxed performance Sunday 23rd April, 3 p.m., auditorium Jean-Pierre Miquel, Cœur de Ville (free admission, advance booking necessary). Booking is open for people with disabilities, and will be open to the general public on April 4th.
Book here for Sunday 23rd Relaxed performance.
a meeting with a book binder!
Discovering book binding (in French): by award-winning bookbinder Catherine Chauvel, Saturday 22nd April, 3 to 5 p.m., Médiathèque, salle des Académiciens, Coeur de Ville.
More info here
Free admission, advance booking : 01 43 98 68 75
an evening in Saint-Mandé !
Special Shakespeare Night (in English) Tuesday 4th April, Cresco:
7 p.m. Shakespearean scenes by the Big Funk Company
8 p.m. British buffet
9 p.m. Film : Shakespeare in Love (John Madden, 1998)
a week-end at the Château!
Shakespeare au Château (in English):
Much Ado About Nothing will be performed in English during Easter week-end (8th and 9th April, 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., 10th April 3 p.m.) in the Medieval keep of the Château de Vincennes by the student actors of Fonact directed by Oscar Batterham and Lucinda Milward.
Please note: no booking is needed for the performances, but the entrance to the Château is 9,50€ (free under 25 yo). Entry tickets on sale at the Château, come early so as not to miss the beginning of the show!
venues list and contact here
The festival Shakespeare d’Avril ! is brought to you by:
With the support of the City of Vincennes and in partnership with Culture Relax