"coups de theatre"
Vollard Theatre has developed a keen sense of communication, constantly occupying the foreground and the front page of newspapers (about 1500 articles of which 150 in national newspapers !). With humour and imagination performances have overflowed from the stage. To advertise itself, to attract attention, to challenge things, Vollard has created events, wielded symbols, multiplied provocations.
Celebrations and crusades
"There is no Charlie Hebdo on Reunion island, there’s Vollard Theatre who gladly cause trouble" [Charb, Charlie Hebdo; French satirical political weekly newspaper]
"Emmanuel Cambou and his team have got a certain I-don’t-know-what which turns even the most dull event into a celebration for everyone." [Edith Halimi, Le Journal de l’île de La Réunion newspaper]
At Vollard Theatre celebrations and crusades are indissociable. Those at Jeumon have been the finest; organised and stage-managed like real performances : Vollard nana set po - Batissage, Mille Bougies, La Belle Étoile, Kabar z’intermittents ! The secret ? An overwhelming desire to get together and share with the public. Little by little we have acquired a culture of celebration, something that is inimitable and indissociable from our path. We started out at the end of the 1970s like Ziskakan, and Danyel Waro, and have accompanied a generation craving rebellion and identity. On an island that has gone from the colonial Middle Ages to a consumer society in twenty years it’s been quite a shock and conflicts have been plentiful. In 1980, in 1987, in 1992 and in 1999 - every time we’ve had no future. The authorities were stifling us, and every time we were on the verge of upheavals. We’ve survived. We committed ourselves. We supported the underlying motives of the Chaudron riots, the "clean hands" operation of the law. We’ve called for reforms. Should we have kept quiet ? Avoided politics ? Only done theatre ? Little by little Reunion island has changed. Today there’s more freedom, and liberty of speech; the island’s history is no longer obscured. And a new culture has been born.
Sooner or later a theatre company must try itself out in Paris. That’s where the decision-makers are, and the media whose opinion counts. The public is demanding, cosmopolitan, there’s no cheating. We love Paris, in spite of the money problems and the intense competition. We’ve conquered real public there, we’ve built up strong ties with performance professionals and several of us live there today.